Our culture is chock-full of sexual double standards, from the idea that women are “sluts” for behaving in ways that would get men high-fives, to the widespread expectation that men — and only men — should be sexual initiators. But by far, one of the weirdest sexual double standards has to do with sex toys.
Narratives around women using sex toys, while still sometimes fraught with judgment and pathologization, are by-and-large much more positive than narratives about men doing the same. We talk about vibrators, for instance, as tools for self-empowerment, a way for cisgender women to take their pleasure into their own hands. Companies like Goop and Lelo paint female masturbation as something that ideally happens in a candlelit bathtub scattered with rose petals while soft jazz plays — beautiful, inoffensive and even inspirational.
Cis guys who use strokers, however, are often derided as lonely, desperate creeps and perverts, who either can’t get laid or don’t want to. As a sex nerd, it’s fascinating to me that our culture generally treats sexually self-actualized women as slutty heathens with daddy issues while patting sexually active men on the back, but that this dynamic is flipped on its head as soon as we start talking about sex toys and masturbation.
Why is this, exactly? One reason is the common assumption that male sexuality is just “simpler” than female sexuality, and that therefore a guy shouldn’t “need” a toy to get off, whereas a woman might. As human sexuality professor Laurie Mintz argues in her book Becoming Cliterate, this is basically a myth borne of ignorance about the clitoris and its central sexual importance for a lot of the people who have one. But even setting that aside, it’s hugely dismissive to call male sexuality “simple,” and it often leads to guys judging themselves, and being judged by their partners, for needing — or wanting! — types of stimulation that sex alone just doesn’t offer.
In light of all this, it’s encouraging to see so many sex toy companies releasing beautifully crafted toys for penile pleasure. I suspect there will always be a place in the industry for cheap “pocket pussies” and the like, but it’s lovely that there are so many luxe strokers on the market these days — and that plenty of penis-possessing people feel comfortable investing in their own solo sex, outdated myths be damned.
The Satisfyer Men 2.0 is exactly the type of fancy stroker I’m talking about, and it has a lot to recommend about it. It’s about the same shape and size as a standard Fleshlight, and is lined with a similarly soft and squishy material that feels great when water-based lube is liberally applied before you begin. One reviewer said that the toy “feels like a vagina, and the sensation when using it is soft and lifelike.” But it’s got a much more elegant aesthetic than any Fleshlight, and isn’t as instantly recognizable as a sex toy.
Unlike a lot of its competitors, the Men 2.0 isn’t made to look like a vagina, a butt or a mouth. The opening is just a hole, with a raised rim around it that can stimulate the base of your shaft while the rest of your dick is inside the toy. This non-representational design won’t be everyone’s preference, certainly, but if you’re squicked out by the uncanny-valley vibes of strokers made to look like human orifices, maybe you’d prefer the pared-down look of this Satisfyer toy.
The Men 2.0 doesn’t vibrate or do any other mechanized magic like some of its higher-end counterparts, but you can adjust its tightness as needed with a built-in pressure regulator. The effect can be suction-like at times, so if you’ve ever wanted a blow-job simulator at a decent price, this could be it. “It’s got a tight fit but is super stretchy so it fits and feels like perfection,” one review on the Bboutique website raves. Another reviewer remarked, “No woman has ever sucked my cock so utterly.”
Fair warning, though: That same suction also makes the toy kind of loud in use. As with many strokers, this one produces an odd squelching noise as you thrust in and out of it. As a commenter put it, “I couldn’t get past the sound of the suction. It was quite distracting and took me out of the vibe. It was like having a gassy partner.” In my experience, the sound isn’t that much of a boner-killer, but it has occasionally brought festivities to a standstill when I’ve tried to use a toy on a partner and found myself unable to stop laughing at the noises emanating from their junk. Maybe if you close your eyes and concentrate real hard, you can imagine it’s the sound of someone gagging on your dick — if you’re into that, that is.
The hard-shell casing of this stroker makes it more convenient, in many ways, than one without: It won’t get squashed in your bag if you take it somewhere, and your hand won’t get tired from manually squeezing it the whole time, the way it might with a stroker that lacks a case. But it can be a bit limiting in terms of size. I searched the r/BigDickProblems subreddit — always my first stop when I want to learn about the woes of the well-endowed — to see if any users there had tried this toy, and the only mentions of it were complaints that it was too small. A less structured stroker, like the Tenga Flex, might work better if your toy runneth over.
Individual toys like the Satisfyer Men 2.0 may not be able to single-handedly address shitty stereotypes about guys who use strokers, but they can nudge cultural conversations about sex toys in a more positive direction, little by little. The pleasure of people with penises isn’t so simple that it should be dismissed, or so common that it doesn’t matter. Life is just too damn short not to stick your dick in something that feels good if you want to.