What is a Masturbator?

If you’re thinking the answer to “What is a masturbator” is that it’s something to get yourself off with, you’re not wrong. But if you’d like to know a little more about the sex toy you stick your penis into, we’ve got you covered.

Masturbators tend to be in a class all their own, but they’re not much different than any other masturbation sleeve or stroker. For the curious, let’s take a closer look at one of the most popular masturbation toys for penises.

Artificial Vagina

Artificial VaginaThe official term for a masturbation stroker is “artificial vagina.” If that doesn’t inspire lust and an erection, we completely understand. Technically, an artificial vagina can also be used for cattle artificial insemination. Although, we’re fairly certain that kind of artificial vagina doesn’t look like the stroker you know and love or that you’ll find online at Jack and Jill Adult.

Other names for masturbation sleeves include portable vagina and handheld masturbation tool. Both of which are accurate but the least sexy thing you can imagine. “Portable vagina” sounds like something you can pull off a machine and put in a toolbox. And handheld masturbation tool may be a technical and accurate description, but it doesn’t say, “Get yourself off” like masturbator does.

How Masturbators are Made

The most simple version of a masturbator is a tube that looks like a vagina on one end where you stick your penis. This opening, for realistic strokers, will also include artificial labia, as well. Some strokers look like butts and are designed to simulate anal sex instead. Most of these toys are textured on the inside of the tube to either make it feel better than sex or as lifelike as possible.

Most are small and discreet, designed to fit in the palm of your hand, much like your own shaft. You can get a one-time use stroker where you get yourself off and throw it away. This is good if you hate the idea of cleaning it up later. Your other option is a stroker for multiple uses. This means you’ll need to clean it when you’re done. For a little extra money, you can buy masturbators that add vibrations and other sensations to your wank.

Some strokers are molded from or are based on your favorite porn stars while others are more generic. They’re available in a variety of colors from clear to red, black, and other shades not found in nature. For realistic options, the peach and pink fleshtones are most common, but if you look, you can find strokers with darker fleshtones, too.

Masturbator Material

Pocket Pussy MaterialNot all masturbators are alike in regard to how good they and, most importantly, how good they feel. Obviously, before you thrust your junk inside of it, you want to know it’s going to feel nearly as good as the real thing. This is where the material of your sleeve matters the most.

The most common materials are Cyberskin, a combination of silicone and PVC among other materials and the jelly, rubber, and TPR/TPE models. Cyberskin and other similar materials feel the most realistic. Jelly, rubber, and TPR/TPE are soft but not quite as realistic as Cyberskin. These are the most common materials and often the least expensive, but they’re not always the best quality.

All of these are extremely porous and can’t be fully sterilized after you use them. It doesn’t matter quite as much if it’s a one-time use sleeve (and you actually only use it one time). But if you plan to use your stroker more than once, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly with soap and water, let it dry completely, and store it in a cool, dry place. Your safest option is also to use a condom with your stroker which makes clean-up easier, as well.

If you want a masturbator you can more easily clean and that can be sterilized, especially if you decide to share your toy, look for a silicone version. It will cost more upfront, but it will also last longer and be safer to use. With any material you choose, make sure you use a water-based lubricant for added comfort, too.


Wanting to use something other than your hand to masturbate is completely normal. As good as you can make yourself feel, sex toys keep things interesting. Masturbators are a popular sex toy to try. The hardest part (other than you, pun intended) may be deciding which one you want. The good news is that you don’t have to pick just one. You can have as many styles as you can afford to buy.

Do you use a masturbator? What’s your favorite brand or toy? Let us know in the comment section below!

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