Harmful social connotations around sexuality play a huge part in how we perceive ourselves, particularly in our sex lives and in our relationships. While female sexuality appears to be undergoing a revolution of empowerment – you know, clawing its way out of centuries of shame – male sexuality remains to be stigmatised – deemed as an ‘uncontrollable necessity’, and a potentially ‘creepy’ one at that.
Male masturbatory sleeves are typically a target of this stigma. They are commonly seen as ‘gross’, ‘sad’, and even threatening, even though they can benefit people’s sexual health and wellbeing in so many ways. Fears and stigmas stifle sexual liberation and limit sextech innovation. This can prohibit us from accessing our full pleasure potential, or at the least make us feel ashamed for enjoying pleasure.
Why are masturbatory sleeves seen as ‘gross’?
With sleeves, just as with any sex toys, they need to be cleaned to be kept in good condition, otherwise, yes, they will become pretty gross. If sleeves are not washed properly, they can harbour bacteria and this can lead to infections. Check our article on how to clean your toy properly.
The general notion is that male masturbation is a necessity, that men are incapable of controlling their sexual desires. This plays into the idea that male sexuality is inherently predatory and ‘creepy’ and objectifies female bodies. Arguably, this isn’t helped with flesh-like products, similarly as with female humanoid sex robots. Additionally, where vulvas are regularly deemed as ‘disgusting’ in a misogynistic society, a vulva shaped fleshlight may also evoke an unsettling emotion within the Uncanny Valley.
Why are masturbatory sleeves seen as ‘sad’?
The use of a masturbatory sleeve unfairly connotes an ‘inability to find a real person to have sex with’. While this genuinely might be the case for some people – due to personal emotional barriers, physical sexual dysfunctions, disabilities, mental health or bodily issues – self-pleasure offers a whole host of benefits. Some may use fleshlights or sleeves to practice for the real thing, to learn endurance, and become better for a lover.