Guide to masturbation sleeves
Most masturbation sleeves sleeves are built on a simple premise: to enhance the stimulation that one gets from their hand. Many, though, go above and beyond that duty, adding unique textures, supple materials, and stimulating suction to the equation. However, don’t let the term “masturbation sleeve” restrict you — like any sex toy, sleeves can be enjoyed solo or with a partner.
We believe a good, solid masturbation sleeve is a great addition to one’s sex toy arsenal. But what are the differences between the sleeves, and how do you choose the right one for you?
First, ask yourself the questions below. Then keep your answers in mind as you read about the different sleeves we carry. Each sleeve has its own pros and cons, and each satisfies certain requirements while eschewing others.
- What’s my budget? The range is vast. $8.50 at the cheapest; $149 at the most.
- Do I want texture, and if so, what kind? You’ll find everything from bumps to ridges to indescribable textures within these sleeves. If you’re not sure, it could be best to grab a sleeve that’s reversible (the Tenga Eggs, Sidekick #1, Sidekick #2, and Maven all are) so you can try a smooth texture as well and figure out which you prefer.
- Do I want suction? Sleeves with closed ends provide suction, and some of the higher-end toys, such as the Fleshlights and Tenga Flip Holes, even have adjustable suction.
- Do I want to be able to feel my hand? This sounds like a strange question, but it’s really not! If you use a sleeve with a case, like the Fleshlight and Tenga Flip Hole, your hand won’t contribute much sensation. Some people love this, as it helps them fantasize better. Sleeves without cases allow the pressure and motion of your hand to come through, which is good if you like to create your own pressure or engage in a unique stroking motion.
- How discreet do I need it to be? The Tenga Eggs are the smallest and most portable, while the Fleshlights masquerade as flashlights. Just depends on what kind of discreet you need.
- Do I want a partner to use it on me? If so, you’ll probably want a toy that’s more lightweight.
Vibratex makes a couple inexpensive sleeves that are great for beginners. The Sidekick #1 and Sidekick #2 are basic, elastomer sleeves. The Sidekick #1 is 5 1/2″ long and contains nubs, while the Sidekick #2 is 4 1/4″ long and adorned with ridges. The Sidekick #1 is closed on one end, whereas the Sidekick #2 is open on both. Closed sleeves tend to provide more suction. Sleeves that are open on each end are great for folks who don’t like suction, don’t want a lot of stimulation on the head of the penis, and/or want to combine a sleeve with a blowjob.
The Maven is more spendy, but it’s the thickest and longest (7″ long) of Vibratex’s sleeves, giving it more of a plush feel and providing more of an engulfing sensation. It also has a soft finish that adds to the experience. The Maven is closed on one end and is decorated with bumps, but the bumps are more subtle than those in the Sidekick #1.
Tenga Eggs are the perfect introduction to sleeves. At just $8.50 each, they’re an inexpensive way to experiment and see what you like. Made of incredibly stretchy elastomer, Tenga Eggs are meant to be pulled down over the penis. Each one has a different inner texture according to the pattern on its packaging. There’s everything from dots to triangles to waves — and even hearts.
Tenga Eggs are self-contained and even come with a pouch of lube, so they are excellent for popping in a bag during your travels. Although Tenga Eggs were designed as one-time use toys, they can be reused a few times if they are handled with care.
One unique feature of the aforementioned sleeves is that they can all be turned inside out if you find the inner texture to be too intense. These sleeves are also great if you want to feel the motion or pressure of your hand as you use them. For that reason — and because they are so lightweight — they are ideal choices for partner play.
Tenga’s more heavy-duty sleeves are called Flip Holes. The Flip Holes contain the most intricate textures of all the sleeves we carry. They’re like little mazes! Each color of Flip Hole contains a different inner texture, but the Flip Hole Black is the tightest and most intense of the three.
At 7″ long and 3 1/2″ wide, the Flip Holes are hefty enough to be substantial, but not as big as regular-sized Fleshlights. They each have three “buttons” on the top and bottom that can be used to adjust suction and pressure in various locations, which can be a fun feature especially in the hands of a partner.
Each Tenga Flip Hole also comes with a stand that doubles as a drying rack during cleaning. And speaking of cleaning, the Flip Holes are by far the easiest sleeves to clean, because they open up completely.
Fleshlight is one of the most recognizable names in the entire sex toy industry, and for good reason: they make some of the highest-quality masturbation sleeves around. Fleshlight sleeves are crafted out of a patented phthalate-free material called Superskin that is incredibly squishy and life-like. Some of the sleeves are pink, while others are semi-transparent. The semi-transparent sleeves coupled with the clear cases make the Fleshlight Ice products some of the only sleeves in which the user can view the penetration as it happens.
Fleshlights come in an array of inner textures. The Fleshlight Pink Lady Stamina Training Unit is the most intensely-textured Fleshlight we have; its narrow and bumpy tunnel is meant to replicate intercourse so it can “train” the user to last longer. The Fleshlight Vibro Pink Lady is the only Fleshlight that vibrates, thanks to three included bullets that fit into the sleeve.
The Fleshlight Flight is one of their newer products, and it’s smaller than the typical Fleshlight. If you want all the pleasures of a Fleshlight in a more compact package, the Flight is an excellent choice.
And finally, Fun Factory Cobra Libre is in a class all its own. Not really a sleeve, but not just a vibrator, this rechargeable toy is built to stimulate the head of the penis with its strong vibrations. Its tunnel is not very deep, so this is not a toy that will surround most penises entirely. But if you love vibrations and head stimulation, the Cobra Libre is where it’s at!
Once you choose the sleeve of your dreams, don’t forget to pick up some lube to go along with it. Thinner lubes are easiest to use with sleeves, as they can penetrate all the crevasses. Try Blossom Organics, or read our Lube 101 post for more tips on choosing a lube.
Also be sure to take a look at our sex toy cleaning guide so you’re equipped with all the proper info for cleaning and storing your new toy!