Women on TikTok “no longer need a stud.” When their “baby” arrives home, it’s in a box — and, each time they have sex, they’re thrilled that it only lasts 30 seconds. Testimonials for this mysterious lover include: “My soul left my fkn body,” “Seven seconds… that’s all it took. I even panicked a little” and “History: deleted. Phone: yeeted. Holy water: needed.”
So, just what is it that’s got more than 166 million women cumming in an instant? Obviously: the Rose toy. While many sex toys have their moment in the spotlight — take, for example, the elegant bejeweled butt plug — the Rose has infiltrated mainstream culture unlike any other. You’d be hard-pressed to find a woman on TikTok not posting about it — whether that’s to celebrate its seemingly magical powers or bemoaning about how overhyped it is. Just search #RoseToy or #TheRoseReview, and you’ll be inundated with reviews, memes and adoring endorsements.
The Rose is a suction toy, which, as Zoë Ligon, the founder of the sex-positive toy shop Spectrum Boutique, says “uses air pressure to create the sensation of light sucking.” These toys don’t feel exactly like oral sex, but they’re often compared to that type of stimulation. “The Rose is a much more powerful air-pressure toy than many others on the market — it’s got a nice hefty motor, packs a lot of power and is a reasonable price,” she continues. It also helps that the Rose is particularly cute, designed as — you guessed it — a red rose. “It’s appealing simply because it’s adorable,” agrees Ligon.
That said, sex toy reviewer and blogger Epiphora says that there’s actually nothing unique about the Rose, aside from its look and the fact that “someone gushed over it on TikTok.” But still, that hasn’t stopped the feverity surrounding it — particularly among young women, for whom it might be their first toy (several TikTokers are sharing tips on how to inconspicuously order the Rose while living with parents).
For 24-year-old Steph, the appeal of the Rose actually does lie in its power. “My favorite thing about it is how quick it is to make you finish,” she tells me. “I’ve never been able to finish with oral, but the rose really does the trick!” After seeing the Rose in memes and reading a handful of reviews, Steph bought her own on Amazon for $50. “The one I got was a little pricier because it has a petal attachment, which is meant to stimulate your G-spot,” she explains. The petal is attached to the base of the rose via a sort of bendy stalk, and features a slightly smaller, vibrating petal, which is inserted into the vagina. “I’d never been able to squirt before, but [the petal] made it so easy for me to do it.”
But what about the women who’ve complained about the Rose toy actually lacking precision and power, how loud it is or its problems with charging? Epiphora says this is because the Rose isn’t produced by one single company. “It’s the perfect example of a private-label sex toy,” she explains. “Companies can slap their own branding on the product and call it a day. There are hundreds of ‘versions’ of the Rose on Aliexpress, offering ridiculously low prices — so, literally anyone can purchase them, list them on Amazon and dropship them directly to customers.”
To avoid buying a dud, Epiphora advises that buyers avoid Amazon altogether. “Reputable online sex shops like Spectrum Boutique, SheVibe and Early to Bed stock the Rose now, so there’s no [need to] shift through a bazillion identical toys,” she says. “Plus, you get actual support if you get a defective product, and you’ll be supporting independent retailers in the process.”
It’s likely that the Rose does deserve to be hyped, but not necessarily more than other suction sex toys. But if you want something cute and powerful — and you’re willing to look outside of Amazon for it — it seems to be a safe bet. Don’t just take my word for it. “It may just be that I’ve never received the best oral, but the toy is definitely better,” concludes Steph. “It’s honestly my best friend now.”