Sex was always complicated—now that there’s a pandemic going on, it’s trickier than ever. So it’s no wonder that a lot of people are choosing to go their own way until things calm down (if you catch our drift). Lucky for those who are “going solo” for the time being, while the world at large is a little fucked at the moment, the world of sex toys and self-pleasuring is basically the techno-utopia of our dreams.
While most people have heard about all the amazing toys out there for people with vaginas, toys made for those of us with dicks haven’t gotten as much press. (Maybe because American men have such weird anxiety about sex toys? And especially, as counterintuitive as it is, ones to use on themselves?) But make no mistake: the future of jerking off is here, complete with self-warming blowjob simulators and Bluetooth connectivity.
We reviewed some of the most ahead-of-the-curve masturbation toys for penises on the market so we could find out what this magical future holds. (If anything catches your eye, try buying from an independent shop like Organic Loven, one of the largest BIPOC-owned sex toy retailers on the internet.)
HOT OCTOPUSS’ PULSE SERIES$99–$189
You can think of the Hot Octopuss Pulse Series as a cybernetic extension of your jacking-off hand. (Or not, if that metaphor is too terrible for you.) The egg-shaped device cradles in your preferred palm and adds vibration, as well as some additional wrap-around stimulation, to spice up your usual routine. Or you can go hands-free if you want to try something new. It’s the ideal choice for anyone who feels weirded out about the idea of bringing inanimate objects into their sex life. The vibrating Pulse Plate delivers nine speeds and five different oscillating patterns that feel great even if you’re not hard, while the fancier models add remote control and a second vibrator unit for couples play.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? Minimally. Close your eyes and you can pretend your tried-and-true jerking-off hand is bringing its A-game on a whole new
Recommended for: couples, people who have a hard time getting hard, people who feel weird about putting their dicks in things
It’s pretty clear out of the box how most cock-centric sex toys work–there’s a part that you put your cock in, and then you do what comes naturally. The Manta stroker–designed by the laid-back, low-pressure German brand Fun Factory–takes a little figuring out. If you don’t look at the instructions first you’ll probably end up confusedly trying to figure out what goes where. But once you get the angles worked out, the Manta’s deep, rumbly vibrations and shaft-hugging wings will send you diving into oceans of bliss. Since I insist on learning things by doing them without looking up directions beforehand, my first experience with the Manta was pleasantly buzzy, but I abandoned it before I came. The second time I had one of those orgasms that you have to walk off after. Apparently, you can also use it to enhance blowjobs and penetrative sex—but that’s a whole other skill set that I’m not ready to get into yet.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? It’s not weird, necessarily, but I definitely had some awkward moments along the learning curve.
Recommended for: people who read the manual, patient couples, people who like charlie-horse-inducing orgasms
TENGA’S FLIP SERIES$99–$200
I’m going to be real with you: in my opinion, as far as penetrative pleasure goes, the Tenga Flip’s only real competition is actual human orifices. You may know the Japanese brand for their disposable masturbation sleeves, which are as convenient and ingeniously designed as instant noodle cups–pop the lid off one of their iconic pre-lubricated CUPs, enjoy the unexpectedly intricate nubby textures inside, and dispose of it when you’re done. Their new Flip line of reusable toys takes the concept to mind-boggling new dimensions with a level of engineering and design that is borderline insane for a sex toy.
All of the Flips (they sent me a Flip Zero to try) are essentially a heavy piece of squishy thermoplastic elastomer with an internal canal separated into different chambers, each with its own unique texture that provides a distinctly different sensation. It’s like a sex organ designed by a team of highly dedicated Japanese engineers instead of weak-ass old natural selection, and it feels so good that I actually caught myself daydreaming about it days later.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? I’m going to be real with you again: yes, it kind of is, at least at the start. With its hefty size and fleshy, translucent material the Flip can feel like you’re fucking some kind of squishy pleasure alien in the back room of the Mos Eisley cantina. But once you things get rolling that’s going to be the last thing on your mind.
Recommended for: anybody who likes putting their dick in things
One of these days somebody’s going to invent a device that can perfectly replicate the feeling of getting your dick sucked—and when that happens, society as we know it will probably end. That day is still probably still some distance away (unless Elon Musk’s working on something we don’t know about), but the new Blowmotion line from sex toy superbrand Lovehoney shows how far the technology has already come. The Warming Rechargeable Male Masturbator offers vibration, smooth silicone texture, and a self-warming feature (up to a comfy 104 degrees) in a pocket-sized form factor. The Warming Pulsating Rechargeable Male Masturbator upgrades to a fancy magnet-powered pulsation unit and a squeezable silicone sheath for those who want a little more fine-tuned tactile control. Do they feel exactly like getting a blowjob? No. But will they give you an eye-rolling experience that’s a lot closer to a blowjob than your usual everyday jerk-off session? Oh, definitely—and there are even fancier models with more features if you want to go super-deluxe.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? Some of the Blowmotion models have are vaguely mouth-shaped, which you might not be into if you’re susceptible to Uncanny Valley creepiness. But fortunately others are more straightforwardly functional.
Recommended for: People who want on-demand blowjobs without having to find a partner who likes giving on-demand blowjobs
Everyone knows that cars are often stand-ins for men’s dicks, but there are also a lot of people who consider the car an erotic object in and of itself. (If you don’t believe me, look up the lyrics to every good T. Rex song, which are all about different cars Marc Bolan was horny for.) Lelo–whose sleekly designed vibrators helped kick off the sex toy revolution we’re currently enjoying the fruits of–clearly had those people in mind when they designed the F1, which boasts sporty black-and-red construction, a dual-motor vibration system, and “LELO’s revolutionary SenSonic™ technology” (which adds rumbling sonic waves to the mix). But what pushes it over the high-tech edge is the Bluetooth-connected phone app that lets you not only control the intensity of the motors and dial in different vibration patterns, but also keep an eye on the RPMs, get three-axis gyroscopic data, and track your usage. (It also comes with fingerless driving gloves to complete the car/sex metaphor.)
To be honest, I had a hard time vibing with the F1, and not just because it’s tubular aluminum construction isn’t super compatible with the curve of my dick—I’m also not someone who feels the need to collect granular data about my masturbation habits. But I know a lot of people who love having all the info possible on their daily habits, and an app for everything, and those nerds are going to loooooove it.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? Not very much, but it definitely felt a little techno-dystopian to have to troubleshoot a dropped Bluetooth connection in the middle of jerking off.
Recommended for: life-hackers, data geeks, people who want to fuck cars
Magic Wand-style vibrators are massively popular with people with clits, but the design doesn’t work for a lot of people with dicks. Le Wand bridges that gap with an attachment that pops over the head of their Vibrating Massager and adds a loop of flexible silicone to slide over your cock and share the rumbly, 10-speed vibes. The motor on the Le Wand–which has a satisfying, solid-feeling heft that makes it one of the nicest wands I’ve picked up–packs a punch, and it gave me an intense experience even at the lowest setting, so if you like a lot of stimulation this one’s for you.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? No. It’s just like getting a very, very, very buzzy handjob.
Recommended for: people who need a lot of sensation to get off, cishet couples who want a toy they can share, anyone who’s ever wondered what it’s like to get a super-speed handy from Quicksilver from the X-Men (ie. everybody)
It would be ungrateful to talk shit on Lubriderm and all the other general-purpose, mass-market hand and body lotions after all that they’ve done for me (and, if we’re being real, will continue to do for me in the future, no matter how advanced masturbation technology becomes). But after jerking off with Cake’s So-Low Lotion for the first time, I honestly wanted to curse Jergens name for every greasy, barely-satisfactory session I’ve ever had with it.
So-Low is one of the few lubes made specifically with wanking in mind. It comes out of the pump bottle as a thick cream, but as it warms up it transforms–first into a smooth lotion, then into a slick lube to take you over the top. The coconut-oil-based formula never gets sticky, the way a lot of lube does, and lasts long enough for you to slow down and take your time to prolong the pleasure (if you’ve got that kind of willpower). When you’re done, it not only cleans up easily, but leaves you nicely moisturized, with no lingering greasy residue.
Is it weird to put your dick in it? It’s the most natural thing in the world, baby.
Recommended for: people who appreciate the classics
Stepping up your J.O. game doesn’t end when you finish. Sex supply brand Promescent makes a whole range of condoms, lubes, and delay sprays (for the stamina-challenged), as well as these individually wrapped wipes that make your post-sesh cleanup infinitely more civilized than using whatever band t-shirt’s on the floor next to your bed.