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The Evolution of Masturbators Continues With Diverse Offerings

The sex toy industry can move fast. Manufacturers are regularly cooking up brand new ideas as well as unveiling exciting new iterations of existing toys — sometimes multiple times a year. As designs get reworked, upgraded and expanded, even the freshest and most innovative features quickly become commonplace and expected by consumers. This fast-paced evolution can be fun and fascinating to witness, if sometimes a little dizzying.

One product in particular has undergone very significant evolution since its early days, a genre that was previously overlooked and underserved but now shows exponential growth: the masturbator. Once exclusively comprised of squishy tubes aptly named “pocket pussies,” this category now includes toys featuring sizes, shapes, designs and features that have expanded and even exploded many previous assumptions about cisgender male shoppers, their desires and their masturbatory habits.

This fast-paced evolution can be fun and fascinating to witness, if sometimes a little dizzying.

The growth this toy category has seen in terms of diversity, quality, innovation and pleasure potential is remarkable, so let’s talk about it!

What is a masturbator?

In general, when we say “masturbator,” we are referring to products designed to pleasure the penis. This can include anything from manual strokers that require the user to do most of the work to automated, hands-free toys that allow users to simply insert their penis and let the machine take over.

Masturbators are often perceived as toys for cisgender heterosexual men — and given the category’s “pocket pussy” roots, that’s not really a surprise. But it’s also not accurate, especially in today’s market. While there is still work to be done in terms of creating a robust masturbator selection for all people with penises, today’s shoppers have options that don’t presume everyone is looking for something resembling a vulva or vagina.

Masturbators go modern

Sex toys in general, and masturbators especially, have come a long way in terms of quality and innovation. Masturbators started out incredibly simple: hollow, squishy tubes with a penetrable hole. That’s it! The first step in the evolution of these products went in the direction of visual realism, molding masturbators with openings that somewhat resembled vulvas, mouths and anuses. Today we are used to seeing products that offer more than one orifice, but there was a time when those kinds of offerings were big news.

The popularity of these lifelike shapes led to the creation of masturbators designed to include other body parts that users can interact with, from full-size love dolls to space-saving miniatures. There are even lifelike masturbators created from molds of real people, including your customers’ favorite adult stars.

We’ve also seen advancement in the materials used to make masturbators, and today’s shoppers have more options than ever. There are translucent toys, which let users see the action; toys with hand-painted details; and even masturbators that focus on just one portion of the penis. Head teasers are incredibly popular. There really is something for every taste and price range.

Additionally, more manufacturers have been offering squishy masturbators in plastic cases, which allows for discretion, longer-lasting care and even added pleasure benefits, like suction.

Boldly going

The explosion in this category of toys has led manufacturers to explore all sorts of stimulation innovations. Gone are the days of simple squishy tubes. Now we have toys that allow the user to experience the sensations of a flicking tongue and a vibrating vulva at the same time. For users who want to work their masturbator into partner play, there are options like an open-ended vibrating stroker perfect for use during fellatio. And who says vibrating wands aren’t for penises? Today’s pleasure seekers can use clever attachments to turn almost any wand massager into a powerful stroker.

High-tech masturbators

As with just about everything in today’s world, masturbators have gone high tech. This evolution started simply enough with the addition of vibration, but has since gone on to include remote control, electrostimulation, automated movement and even oral sex simulation. Automated movement has gotten more creative too, with products that go beyond stroking to include swirling, rotation and more.

Helping customers find the perfect masturbator

Masturbators are a robust category of pleasure products that is growing every day. That said, they don’t always get the press that other products do, so it’s possible your shoppers might not even know how many options they have. With that in mind, stock multiple masturbator styles and be ready, willing and able to help your shoppers navigate them.

Masturbators are getting more advanced all the time. This exciting toy category is evolving just as quickly as the industry itself, and by staying on top of the latest products and features, you’ll be able to better serve your customers and keep them coming back for more.

Rebecca Weinberg is an award-winning industry leader with more than 20 years of experience in the adult industry. She is the president of multi-award-winning pleasure product manufacturer XR Brands.


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