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Can Male Masturbation Even Be Improved?

There have never been more sex toys for boys — but the fundamentals can’t be beat

I came late to masturbation, but I’ve been making up for it ever since. Even when you’re getting regular sex, sometimes you need to switch it up with a solid wank. I imagine most people agree, and the sheer amount of self-pleasure probably contributes to the feeling that it’s only too common and familiar — there’s nothing new under the sun, or tucked in your underpants.

That’s how we end up with shit like this:

Would I shame someone for using the Hellraiser jerk-off glove? Of course not. I once constructed a DIY pussy from a Pringles tube, rubber gloves and sponges. (It was for work, and it worked just fine.) But do I really believe that it makes an orgasm any better?

There, I admit, I am skeptical.

Part of me suspects that the sex device market for those of us with dicks — as if to match the insatiable appetite for vibrators — is a little try-hard, desperately seeking out any profitable upgrade to the five-knuckle shuffle experience. I even own the Fleshlight Quickshot, another canister device billed as the #1 male sex toy in the world, and while you can have a good time with it, I mostly forget it’s an option, or decide I don’t want the hassle of cleaning it.

And maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I consider the “artificially intelligent” blow-job machine sort of… cheating. There’s no intimacy! This should be about loving yourself, not disappearing your boner in a complicated gadget full of moving parts. Trojan, to their credit, is trying to get in on the low-tech side; the brand is rolling out “Tantrix,” a flexible, single-use masturbation sleeve with a texture that’s meant to enhance every stroke. I’m no prude: I’ll try it. I just hate to imagine a landfill full of come-stiffened cocksheets. Plus, let’s be real — one of the more magical things to sexual release is that you can obtain it for free. It’s hard to imagine myself picking up another box of Tantrix every time I make a CVS run.

Also, I confess I’m somewhat haunted by the reviewer who liked them apart from the “fapping sound.” Predictably, another said it’s “not much better than my hand.”

Yes… the hand. How could we forget this vital instrument? We’re already well-evolved to crank the shaft, perhaps with a dollop of lube for better glide. I applaud all the ingenuity we’re seeing in this space — the human mind is a wonderful, horny circus — yet I don’t believe we’ll ever reinvent this particular wheel. It functions so seamlessly already. Though, let me tell you, I’d be happy to eat my words in the future, when some gizmo makes me nut so hard I begin to question whether I ever truly had before. A Singularity-like event.

See what you can do, science.