What is a Masturbator?

By Cassie Mørch / June 09, 2023

Welcome back to your favorite nook of the web where we talk about everything under the umbrella of sexual health, pleasure, and all the delightful things that go on behind closed doors. Today, I’m answering the age-old question of: What is a masturbator?

I’ll take you through the basics of what a masturbator actually is, why one would use such a device, different types of masturbators out there, and how best to care for your precious penis pamperer!

Fasten your seatbelts, gentlemen (and curious folks of all genders), as we journey down the road to enhanced self-love and uncharted orgasmic territories!

Table of Contents

What is a Masturbator Really?

manual stroker fleshlight mouth

A masturbation sleeve, also often referred to as a stroker, is a type of male masturbator designed to enhance the stimulation and pleasure during solo sessions or even with a partner. Its design is generally simple yet efficient: it is a cylindrical-shaped object (the sleeve) made of a soft and pliable material, designed to mimic the sensation of a vagina, anus, or mouth.

The inside of a masturbator sleeve is usually textured with ridges, bumps, or other patterns to provide added stimulation as you move the sleeve up and down the shaft of the penis. The exterior can vary in design, with some models even replicating the visual aesthetics of a body part for a more realistic visual experience.

Masturbator sleeves come in various sizes, from compact and travel-friendly to larger and more lifelike models. They can be used manually, giving you full control over the speed, pressure, and rhythm of your strokes. Some sleeves are even open-ended, allowing for easier cleaning and the option of controlling suction by covering or uncovering the end.

Materials & Use

Sleeves are usually made from materials that are soft, stretchy, and provide a realistic feel. The most common materials include silicone, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), and TPR (thermoplastic rubber), all of which offer a skin-like sensation.

To use a masturbator sleeve, you simply apply a generous amount of water-based lubricant to both your penis and the inside of the sleeve, then insert your penis into the sleeve and move it up and down the shaft. Adjust the speed and pressure as desired for the most pleasurable experience.

In a nutshell, a masturbator sleeve is a fantastic addition to any penis-owner’s pleasure chest, offering an upgrade from the traditional masturbation method (yes, your hand) and adding a variety of sensations and textures to explore during self-love sessions.

Why Use a Masturbator?

A masturbator, in the context of adult pleasure products, is a device designed for the explicit purpose of facilitating and enhancing masturbation. “But wait,” you might say, “Isn’t a hand enough?” Well, my friend, sometimes you might want to spice things up a notch.

Basically, it’s the same reason one might want to swap their regular hamburger for a gourmet, stacked, and generously seasoned one from time to time: because variety is delightful, and trying new sensations can be thrilling! That’s where masturbators come in. These toys are engineered for one’s private moments of delight, providing unique sensations that you just can’t replicate with your digits alone.

Benefits of using a masturbator

Benefits of Using a Masturbator!

  • Solo play: Masturbators are perfect for enhancing your solo sessions. They can provide a unique sensation that’s different from traditional hand stimulation. Some can add vibrations, extra tightness, unique textures, automatic strokes, and even visual elements to your solo masturbation.
  • Partner play: Want to spice things up with your partner? Masturbators can be a great addition to your bedroom fun. Your partner can use the masturbator on you, adding an element of excitement and variety. Sex doll torso masturbators are great for engaging in the fantasy of threesomes without actually inviting a third person into your bed.
  • Stamina training: Some masturbators are designed to help improve sexual stamina. By practicing with these toys, you can learn to control your arousal levels during penetration. Getting more familiar with the way your body reacts to sensation like this can help you last longer over time.
  • Learn more about your body: Experimenting with masturbators can help you discover what you like, leading to better self-awareness and improved sexual experiences, both solo and with partners.
  • Health benefits: Believe it or not, regular self-love sessions have numerous health benefits, including stress relief, improved sleep, and even pain relief. Your masturbator isn’t just a pleasure tool – it’s your wellness ally.

Different Types of Male Masturbators

Just like there’s a vast variety of chocolates to satisfy different taste buds, masturbators come in many shapes, sizes, and types. From realistic replicas and vibrating models to those equipped with suction features, there’s a toy for everyone’s taste.

Just as no two people are alike, male masturbators come in a stunning variety, each with their unique features, designs, and pleasure pathways. So, let’s deep-dive into the different types of male masturbators that can skyrocket your self-love sessions:

Manual Strokers

The simplest yet effective of the lot. These pocket-friendly pals, usually designed as sleeves, feature a textured interior that mimics the sensation of penetration. Some realistic masturbators, like the classic Fleshlight masturbators, may even replicate the look and feel of a vagina, anus, or mouth for a more visually stimulating experience. Manual strokers generally come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can get fantasy masturbators and ass masturbators that shake things up in terms of the shape of your masturbator!

Open-Ended Strokers

Also called double-ended strokers are masturbators that have two orifices for entry. Some of them have neutral designs, like the Fleshlight Quickshot Vantage or the Arcwave Voy. But some use the privilege of having two ends to create different designs of orifice. One end can have a vulva and the other an anus or a mouth. Whatever your heart (and penis) desire!

Vibrating Masturbators

These marvels take the humble manual stroker and amp it up with vibrating prowess. From a gentle buzz to an intense shake, they offer different vibration modes that stimulate the penis in unique ways. Some manual strokers will include some bullet vibrators to secure on the inside of the casing to send the vibrations to your penis during use. Others will have vibrations built in, like the Lovense Calor. Some also specialize in sending vibrations to your perineum, like the Fun Factory Manta.

Automatic Masturbators

For those times when you want to sit back, relax, and let the magic happen with a hands-free masturbator. These high-tech toys take care of the action themselves. Enjoy these thrusting masturbators that offer features like automatic rotating, vibrating and pulsating motions. Some of these advanced toys are also interactive! They can sync up with virtual adult content or even a partner’s toy, transforming your pleasure into an interactive and immersive experience.

The Fleshlight Universal Launch is compatible with most Fleshlight masturbators. It can turn any manual masturbator into an automatic and interactive experience!

Life-Size Masturbators

If you’re looking for a more lifelike experience, realistic sex dolls might be your cup of tea. However, a life-size sex doll may not be affordable (or practical) for most people out there. In that case, I would recommend sex doll torsos, larger ass masturbators, or even breast masturbators for some sturdy and realistic loving. They offer multiple penetration points and often feature life-like skin and detailing for an ultra-realistic experience.

Safe and Satisfying Masturbator Materials

Before you zoom off to explore the universe of male masturbators, let’s have a quick chat about safety and hygiene. Masturbators are often made of a few different materials. The best material depends on how you’re most likely using your masturbator. Whether you’re using a sleeve during partnered play or going solo with a torso sex doll, different materials have different pros and cons.

Let’s go over some of the most common materials:

  1. Silicone: Widely used in sex toys, silicone is a favorite because it’s body-safe, hypoallergenic, non-porous (which means it doesn’t harbor bacteria), and easy to clean. Silicone has a smooth, skin-like feel, and it’s durable, retaining its shape even with rigorous use.
  2. Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) / Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR): These soft and stretchy materials are often used in masturbator sleeves because they can provide a realistic feel. TPE/TPR is phthalate-free and latex-free, but it’s porous, meaning it can harbor bacteria, so it’s essential to clean and dry these toys properly after each use.
  3. CyberSkin / RealSkin / UR3 / Fanta Flesh: These are all brand-specific names for types of TPE/TPR that are designed to closely mimic the feel of human skin. These materials are incredibly soft and flexible, and often used in realistic masturbators. Like TPE/TPR, these materials are porous and require careful cleaning and drying.
  4. ABS Plastic: While not used in the sleeves themselves, ABS plastic is often used in the casing of some masturbators. It’s a hard, non-porous material that is easy to clean and durable.
  5. Elastomer: Elastomers are soft and pliable materials that are also phthalate-free and hypoallergenic. They are less porous than TPE/TPR but more porous than silicone, so they also require thorough cleaning.

Cleaning & Care: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning a masturbator sleeve is generally straightforward. Turn the sleeve inside out and wash it with warm water and a mild soap or sex toy cleaner. Always make sure to let your sleeve dry completely before storing it to avoid any potential buildup of mold or bacteria.

Proper cleaning and care not only prolong the life of your toy, but also ensure your sexual health by preventing any potential bacterial buildup. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

sanitize toys

How to Take Care of Your Masturbator

Step 1: Read the Instructions

Start by checking the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Different materials require different cleaning methods, so make sure you understand what’s best for your toy.

Step 2: Cleaning After Use

After each use, clean your masturbator with warm water. Most sleeves can be turned inside out for thorough cleaning. Some parts of your masturbator may not be waterproof (like the casing or vibrators). Wipe these parts down with a damp cloth. Clean it carefully to avoid getting water into motorized parts or batteries.

Step 3: Use a Toy Cleaner

Warm water will remove most fluids and lubricants. However, you should also use a mild, unscented soap or sex toy cleaner. This will provide a deep, safe cleanse. Lather up and rinse with warm water.

Step 4: Drying

Dry your masturbator thoroughly to prevent mold or bacteria growth. Pat it dry with a clean towel and let it air dry completely before storage. You can often leave your masturbator to dry upside down on a special drying rack.

Step 5: Powdering (For Certain Materials)

If your masturbator is made of a material like TPE or UR3, it might need a renewal powder to keep it soft, realistic, and non-sticky. If suggested by the manufacturer, dust it lightly after every clean with the included renewal powder or some corn starch.

Step 6: Safe Storage

Store your masturbator in a clean, dry place. Each masturbator should be stored individually. Ideally in a fabric bag or its original packaging to avoid contact with other toys.

Bonus Tip: Regular Cleaning

Even if you’re not using your toy regularly, it’s a good idea to clean your masturbator every couple of weeks. This will keep it fresh and ready for action.

Remember, a well-cared-for toy is a pleasure to use! Stick to this guide, and your male masturbator will thank you by providing longer-lasting, worry-free pleasure.

Now You’re Ready to Master the Masturbator!

So, there you have it! From the simple and satisfying to the high-tech and luxurious, masturbators offer a universe of pleasure possibilities for penis-owners.

With every type of masturbator bringing something unique to the table, the road to self-discovery and enhanced pleasure is thrillingly diverse. Remember, self-love is not just fun but healthy too. So, dive in, explore, and stroke away!