Of course I knew what a Fleshlight was when April asked me if I might be interested in reviewing one. Honestly though, I was a bit hesitant. Here’s this sex toy that claims to be like ‘the real thing,’ but would it be? The only other masturbators I’d tried were a Tenga 3D and Tenga Eggs, and I like them both. But, because they don’t try to mimic vaginas, and because the Fleshlight is pricier than both of those, it made me think that the Fleshlight would have to be judged differently. There is a lot of hype about Fleshlight, so I knew it was popular but I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised when April introduced me to the Fleshlight Girls line, which are all replicas of actual porn stars, when we were browsing the Fleshlights. I guess I assumed they were all identical to the Pink Lady Fleshlight.
I went on a hike with one of our friends shortly after I found out I’d be getting a Stoya Lotus Fleshlight to review. I was curious what he might think about Fleshlights and I had been debating whether or not I wanted to reveal April and myself as reviewers to him anyway, so I took the opportunity to tell him about it. Completely without segue, because I’m awkward like that, I asked him; his answer was “I think they’re kind of weird.” I pushed on anyway and told him about our website, the Fleshlight Girls line, and how I chose the Stoya Fleshlight. Surprisingly, he knew who Stoya was and seemed more willing to agree the Fleshlight would be at the very least interesting to try.1
Why you Might Choose the Fleshlight Girls Line
The Fleshlight is supposed to resemble real sex, with a real person. But with the Girls line, it’s not just any person; my masturbatory aid is an exact mold of porn star Stoya’s vulva.2 If you don’t know who Stoya is, then maybe you don’t watch porn? And that might also mean Fleshlight could be marketing its Girls line better to you. Yes, Stoya, along with the 24 other Fleshlight Girls do porn, and it’s certainly not a mystery why the Girls line was created. But Fleshlight is marketing more than just their sexy parts; it’s also offering its customers familiarity and a personality with the sleeve. Admittedly part of my choice to get the Stoya Fleshlight specifically had to do with finding her vulva attractive, but my decision was heavily influenced by the fact that I think Stoya is pretty rad. If you follow Stoya’s blog or her Twitter account, you can see she writes about her views on all kinds of topics. And if you follow her on Instagram, you can see a lot of pictures of cats. And her projects, Graphic Descriptions and TRENCHCOATx are pretty awesome.
If you’re not interested in faking love to a “hottest adult star,” that does not mean the Girls line is not for you. There are other reasons to consider the Girls line over the Fleshlight classics like the Pink Lady. Real vulvas don’t always look the same, so one reason is that there are more diverse options of vaginas to choose from in the Girls line. The molds are very detailed and pick up on all the asymmetry and variation in their vulvas.3 If there’s something specific you might like, for example, fuller lips, the Pink Lady would not be for you. You might find a different option from the Girls line that fits you better. Or, if you have a partner with a vagina, and if you’d so like, you can even choose one that most closely resembles their vulva.
It was not long after my conversation with our friend that I realized his “I think they’re kind of weird” answer was really the same initial response I had, though I didn’t vocalize it. I was definitely interested in the Fleshlight, but I was skeptical that it would be better than anything I’d already tried. Then we got it in the mail…
If the Fleshlight was made to be discreet, it’s doing a poor job. Although the Fleshlight’s shape does indeed resemble a flashlight enough to be warranted the name, it isn’t something that someone is likely to naively assume it is indeed a regular flashlight (the fact that it says “Fleshlight” on the side isn’t helping). Because of its size, it could very well be mistaken for a blunt weapon. Simply, the Fleshlight is a bulky motherfucker. I’m not sure what the average size of a man’s hand is, but I do know that I can’t completely wrap my hand around the grip4. I believe this was the observation that led to my first concern: Is this going to fall out of my hands mid jerk-off sesh? I thought right away that there should be a grippier grip. Damn it, I was already criticizing it.
Twisting off the cap of the all pearl case to reveal the vulva, I was amazed by how real it looked. And by amazed I mean I began awkwardly poking it, giggling and making jokes. This fucking thing actually felt like real skin AND there was a vulva no less realistic staring up at me. I was impressed. Then I took the sleeve out of its casing and enjoyed flopping it around a bit out of further awkwardness. I smacked it across my hand a few times for proper inspection and off we went.
Losing my Fleshlight Virginity
I discovered that using the Fleshlight for the first time was akin to losing your virginity. Kind of awkward and takes a few more tries to really figure out what you like. I was too preoccupied with comparing it to my expectations and too focused on reviewer observations to enjoy it the first time. The Fleshlight was obviously turning me on enough to keep me going, but I didn’t feel like it was providing enough, or the right kind of, stimulation to get me to finish. I even tried adjusting the end cap, which changes the amount of suction it provides, but didn’t have any luck. The packet of Fleshlube that came with the toy was not enough for that bout and I re-lubed with some Sliquid about three times5 before I decided enough was enough and opted for sex with April. And yes my hand did get a little slippery after using it for a while, but not so much that it was going to go flying out of my hand.
After the sex, a bit frustrated with the Fleshlight (or with myself, I wasn’t sure), I decided that maybe the Fleshlight could better be utilized as a sort of fluffer? Sometimes April and I have to stop mid-sex because of her issues with genito-pelvic pain disorder (GPPD), so we agreed it could be a great idea. The next time we went to have sex, we got the Fleshlight prepared and set it on the night stand. To make a long story short, this ended up not being a great idea and we should have thought it all the way through… GPPD can already be a hurdle and cause us both anxiety so adding in something that requires additional preparation and attention only became a hassle. So I was back to solo use ideas.
Our next thought was to see how I liked it in the shower. I was excited to use it in the shower. I love shower sex. Sadly though, this time was still not going to be the time it got me off. If I thought a lot of lube was needed before, then this time it was ridiculous. I’m just happy I didn’t mistake shampoo or soap for lube any of the five or so times I reached out for it, since those can harm the delicate SuperSkin™ material. Before I knew it, the water got cold, my penis got soft, and I hadn’t even washed myself. It was not altogether a good experience. I’m aware of the fact that Fleshlight makes a shower mount but I don’t know if using one would make my shower experience better or if I would still have the same problems.
At this point I decided it was time to seek out reviews of other people’s personal experiences with the Fleshlight, and I came across Epiphora’s review. In her review she mentioned how her boyfriend likes to use the “shoe method.” I thought I would like using this method since it was supposed to offer a hands free experience. I put the Fleshlight in a shoe and stuffed it between our mattress and box spring, but the no-hands approach just wasn’t working for me either. A bit irritated by that point, I decided to pull out the Tenga 3D and an Egg to see if they were just as good as the Fleshlight. After switching between them for a bit, I decided I liked the 3D more than the Egg, but after going back to the Fleshlight I realized I preferred it over both of them. It was like I had a breakthrough with it, because I really enjoyed the Fleshlight after that. I don’t know if I just needed to re-frame how I was thinking about the Fleshlight or if it was rather a matter of comfort and practice, or possibly a combination of both, but I was able to come with it that time. I have enjoyed it every time since.
Ultimately, I’ve come to realize (pun totally intended) that when I use my Fleshlight, it’s going to take me longer than if I was having sex or using my hand or another toy. Don’t get me wrong, I like using the Fleshlight. It’s a good toy. It’s just that, in my experience, the Fleshlight isn’t a go-to toy when I want to get off quickly. It’s more of a special occasion thing, one that I need to spend more time with. It’s the kind of sex toy you light candles for.
Material and Care
The material, which Fleshlight calls “SuperSkin™,” feels amazingly real. We don’t know too much more about it because they only describe it as a “patented, high-quality material” and “a company secret.” They do say that it isn’t made of latex, plastic, or silicone, and doesn’t contain phthalates. With some companies these claims can’t really be trusted, since there’s little to no regulation on these products, but Fleshlight is a brand that you should trust (if Lilly does, we do too!). It requires diligent cleaning and no sharing unless you’re fluid-bonded because it is porous and can harbor mildew and bacteria.
When it comes to the cleaning and care of the Fleshlight, I consider it to be sort of a high maintenance toy. It must be thoroughly rinsed out with warm water after each use (you should do this even if you don’t come inside it), and soap cannot be used because it may degrade the material. If you feel better using something more than water to clean your Fleshlight, you can buy their “Fleshwash.” Finally, it has to air dry. This last part has been the most frustrating because it can take a long time, though it seems to dry the fastest when you put it in the case without the caps. We recently noticed on Fleshlight’s website that they recommend putting a thin lint-free towel through it for quick drying, but we haven’t had a chance to try this method yet. It also needs to be “renewed” frequently because the material starts to get a tacky feel to it. What this means is that after washing it, it needs to be powdered with either cornstarch or Fleshlight’s “Powder Renewer.” All you need to do it put some on and shake off the excess; pretty simple, but still an added step in the maintenance. Now is also a good time to mention that only water-based lubes should be used with your Fleshlight, also to avoid damaging the material.
The first couple times I tried my Fleshlight, I didn’t think it was going to work for me. Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I really enjoy my Stoya Lotus Fleshlight. However, I like the Stoya part more than the Lotus part. I already made it clear that I like the Fleshlight Girls line but now I want to talk about how a different texture could be better. When we chose our Fleshlight I knew little about the different textures, and also we were limited to what Lovehoney carries since they were providing it for us in exchange for our review. Fleshlight also offers what is called the Mini-Lotus, which is a better choice for penises of average length (5-6 inches). The canal of the sleeve is 9 inches long so clearly most men won’t be able to take advantage of the texture in the last few inches. There’s a significant difference in where the texture starts on the Lotus and Mini-Lotus, with the Mini-Lotus’ texture starting a couple inches closer to the entrance. According to the buyer’s guide on Fleshlight’s website, circumference can be important in your decision making processes too. If you’re on the smaller side, girth-wise, maybe consider the Pink Lady Super Tight sleeve. Luckily, Fleshlight gives you the option of buying additional sleeves at a cheaper price as long as you have a case already (or buy one). I’m considering doing this in the future so I can try the Mini-Lotus and maybe even some of the Signature textures. For now though, I’ve become content with my Stoya Lotus Fleshlight even if it took us a bit to get to know each other. There’s just a slight curiosity if it could be better.
If you’re specifically interested in the Stoya Lotus Fleshlight, you can get it directly from Fleshlight!
THANK YOU Lovehoney for sending me this toy in exchange for my honest review!
- By the way, he took the news very open-mindedly, and I think he has a new found respect for our often isolated-in-our-room-on-really-nice-days tendencies! [↩]
- Try saying that five times fast [↩]
- Or so I assume. I haven’t inspected them personally [↩]
- The grip is 8 inches in circumference [↩]
- Note: Fleshlights are not, and I repeat, not self-lubricating. [↩]