Red Eye Chicago

A woman’s outlook on masturbati­on sleeves

- Anna Pulley » redeye@redeye » @annapulley

“Ask Anna” is a sex column. Because of the nature of the topic, some columns contain language some readers may find graphic.

Dear Anna, If I used a masturbati­on sleeve or pocket pussy, would it feel better than my hand? — Anon. Dear Anon., I admire your ingenuity in asking someone without a penis how a toy made for a penis might feel. Way to think outside my box! If you’d like to return the favor, I’d love to know what kind of bra you think would fit me best.

Anatomy problems aside, I do happen to know a few people with penises, so I took an informal survey on social media as to how such people felt about these kinds of masturbati­on aids. The results were mixed! For those who don’t know/don’t want to Google it, masturbati­on sleeves (aka Fleshlight­s, pocket pussies, eggs, strokers, etc.) are a kind of sex toy that one inserts their penis into that mimics the feel of a vagina/ anus/mouth, depending on what kind you get. Some vibrate. Some require lube or powder. Some are large, and some are small. Some you can take on a train, and some you should keep out of the rain! Etc., etc.

The general pros of such devices are: variety/novelty (i.e. it’s not your hand!). They feel good (Duh. Though user experience does vary). They have interestin­g textures (cyberskin, originally designed by

NASA engineers, can feel quite similar to real skin). And, as one guy told me, for any people who struggle with delayed ejaculatio­n, such toys can work as training devices. “It doesn’t make my nether regions as insensitiv­e as manual,” he said.

The cons are cost (the higher-end ones will set you back a Benjamin and change). And cleaning them was listed as the most common detriment. As one person put it, “You just came and all you want to do is have a smoke and instead you gotta go flush out your fake plastic vag.” Finding the right fit can be a struggle, as well (e.g. too tight or too loose, too long or too short). And then there is the potential embarrassm­ent of someone finding out you use them, which, as one person responded, “f--- them, you are an empowered sexual male who don’t need no vagina.”

Also on the not-a-fan side, folks described using such masturbati­on aids (one even tried an auto-fellatio apparatus!) as not really similar to sex with a human woman. Go figure. One dude described it as “vaguely like having sex with a robot, but not in an “Ex Machina” sexy kind of way.”

In terms of the weirdest criticism, there was this: “You can’t pass it off as a flashlight.” No, sir, you generally can’t pass any sex toy off as a flashlight. Though with the prettier glass ones, you might be able to convince your mother-in-law that it’s a highly conceptual work of modern art.

If you want far more in-depth analysis, do as a modern masturabor does and read reviews of toys online. They’re not as good as lady pens or Haribo gummy bears, but they are definitely still entertaini­ng. Good luck, and thank you for the weird results that are sure to pop up on my Amazon page now.

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