That's why the majority of penis sleeves on the market are made from TPR or TPE material. I recommend ensuring that your penis sleeve is phthalate-free whether you go with silicone or TPR/TPE, but purchasing from a reputable brand (like Tenga or Fleshlight) means you can buy your favorites without needing to worry so much about that.
Choosing between materials is very much a personal choice. Silicone material can be sterilized - which is huge if you're going to be sharing your penis stroker - but it also doesn't have the same stretchiness or plushiness that you can find in alternative material choices. This means silicone really needs to be the right fit for your anatomy or else it won't provide the pleasure you're looking for.
TPR/TPE materials tend to be more affordable - and more realistic-feeling on the penis, too. It offers more squish, and it can stretch (and compress) much more easily than silicone. Honestly, for most people, a TPE/TPR material will provide a superior penis stroker experience - even if it may not have the other benefits that silicone material offers.
As always, though, what you decide you need is going to be personal to you.
Read: Sex Toy Safety: A Guide to Materials
Think About the Case
Penis strokers that are contained within a rigid plastic casing are all of the rage right now. Not only does this plastic casing ensure that your hand stays far away from the lube, but it also helps the penis stroker keep its "shape" - which means manufacturers can make floppier, squishier sleeves for even more sensation without worrying that it will make it unusable with hands alone.
Plastic cases come with their own concerns, though. First off, plastic can be very slippery. If you're someone who gets lube everywhere when you're playing, a plastic case may not be for you. Once the case is slippery, it's much harder to hold than the stroker itself.
However, plastic cases also allow for a lot more adjustability when it comes to suction. By installing unique designs or caps, most plastic-cased penis strokers allow you to increase - or decrease - the suction within the stroker's chamber at will. This can help you find the fit that's perfect for your body - and help you control when you orgasm, too. (Which is especially helpful if you're going to be trying edging.)
Plastic cases also ensure that you're unable to adjust the pressure on any specific area. If you're using penis strokers to try to avoid Death Grip Masturbation Syndrome (when the penis becomes desensitized, necessitating an increasingly firmer grip to feel pleasure), this can be a huge bonus.
If you ever want to explore a sex machine for your penis, like the KIIROO KEON, a plastic-cased penis stroker is a must-have, though. Sex machines can't work with non-cased strokers.
Consider Penis Size
Along with the size of the masturbation sleeve itself, you need to consider the size of your penis. If you want to be able to sink fully into a masturbation sleeve, ensure that it's at least as long as your penis - and if you want to experience the intense textures at the very end of the sleeve, ensure that the sleeve is sized accordingly. The point is not to stress about your penis length, but rather about searching for the right fit for your body - there will be a penis sleeve that fits you perfectly, no matter your penis size.
Masturbation Sleeves for Large Penises
If your penis is particularly long, you'll want to consider some things that are unique to you:
- Is the penis stroker open-ended? If so, is it designed to stretch around the penis or will you accidentally tear a hole through the stroker if you get too far into it?
- Does the penis stroker have a fixed diameter? If your penis is also wider than average, this means you'll really want to pay attention to fit. Sleeves with plastic cases might be poorer fits because they have a fixed diameter and won't allow the sleeve to stretch past that diameter.
- With your length, open-ended sleeves have a higher chance of ejaculate shooting right through it - just like if you weren't using a sleeve. Make sure you've prepared ahead for that.
Masturbation Sleeves for Smaller Penises
If your penis is particularly short, you'll want to consider some things unique to your body too:
- What is the diameter of the penis stroker? The "resting" diameter of some strokers may be wider than your penis width - which will lead to reduced pleasure.
- When does the texture "begin" on the stroker? Especially for larger toys, like Fleshlights, the texture may not begin until multiple inches inside of the stroker which may not be a good fit for you.
- Is the penis stroker inside of a plastic case? While this can make for easier use, it also means that you can control the tightness. You might be best off trying non-cased penis strokers so that you can squeeze your hand tighter around the stroker - and instantly have the stroker adjust to your penis size.
If you're transitioning and want to play with penis strokers, that's also an option. Some penis strokers have hit the market that are specifically designed for use on extremely small penises that are about the size of a pinky finger. Some great examples to look into there are the Perfect Fit Buck-Off or the Perfect Fit Kiss-X.
Read: The Big Penis Hoax - Why Size Doesn't Count as Much as You Think It Does
Decide on Vibrations
While penis vibrators are an entire category to themselves, some penis strokers are equipped with vibrations for added sensations.
What separates vibrating penis strokers from penis vibrators?
Most penis vibrators are designed to be used while stationary - or with very minimal movement. The pleasure from a penis vibrator is supposed to come from the vibrations themselves - not the movement. That isn't the case with penis strokers. The primary pleasure is supposed to come from the stroking movement while the added bit of vibrations is just icing on the cake.
Most vibrating penis strokers use a removable bullet vibrator. Some penis strokers (like the Hot Chocolate Alexis) will come with their own bullet vibrator, but other penis strokers (like the Cloud 9 Dual Stroker) will have an optional spot for a bullet vibrator - but won't come with the vibrator itself. If you need to provide your own bullet vibe, I recommend something like the Tango X - or another bullet vibe that is extremely slender in diameter. Most bullet chambers aren't particularly large!
If you think vibrations might add to your enjoyment, consider looking into penis strokers that offer vibrations - or get creative and slide a bullet vibrator into an open-ended stroker to turn any standard penis stroker into a vibrating one!
Understand The Other Side of the Stroker
I'm talking about the end that you don't slide your penis in.
Masturbation sleeves come in two separate versions: open-ended and close-ended. Each one has its benefits - and its downsides - and choosing which type of sleeve is going to be best for you is very much a personal preference.
Open-ended sleeves are exactly how they sound: the end of the sleeve is "open" to the outside world with no material capping the non-insertable end. This open-ended design keeps the suction at a constant level, so you can focus on adjusting sensations purely through grip strength and the texture of the sleeve alone.
Since the tip is open, any orgasmic ejaculate may be able to leak (or plain shoot!) out of the top of the penis sleeve. You'll want to plan for that. At the same time, it also means that clean-up is a breeze since you can clean it out more easily, from both sides of the sleeve. You'll find that drying the sleeve goes much faster too.
Some open-ended designs are also designed for full-shaft use. This means that, if your penis is longer than the sleeve is, the penis stroker can be slid all the way to the bottom of the shaft. For people with longer penises (or for extremely short strokers!), this means that pleasure from the stroker can make its way all the way to the bottom; it isn't limited to the tip!
On the other side, closed-ended sleeves don't have a hole on the opposing side of the sleeve, so they offer suction sensations while using the stroker. This leads to more sensation on the shaft itself for more pleasure. At the same time, close-ended designs "trap" ejaculate too, so you won't have to worry about making a larger mess at the point of orgasm.
Close-ended sleeves' design also happens to provide one of their biggest problems: they're harder to clean. Since the end of the sleeve isn't easily accessible, it isn't as easy as an open-ended sleeve to clean. You'll either have to flip the masturbation sleeve inside out (which not all sleeves can do) or you'll have to really dig your fingers in there.
Close-ended designs also limit how far the penis can go into the sleeve. For those with penises larger than the sleeve size, this may mean that you're limited to using the penis stroker on the tip of the penis.
Like I said: choosing between open-ended and close-ended is very much a personal decision!
Take the Quiz: Masturbation: Do You Know the Facts?
As we've seen the rise of male masturbation sleeve popularity, manufacturers have started to offer more and more options to enjoy. The category of penis strokers isn't as cut-and-dry as it used to be. As more technology and creativity hits the category, more and more options start as penis strokers - but use additional tech to really make them more than just strokers.
For example, Liberator Sex Furniture now makes the Liberator Top Dog - which fits any full-sized Fleshlight - for hands free pleasure of your favorite sleeve. That might make you want to lean towards a Fleshlight product instead of another brand.
You might also be drawn in by the long-distance control capabilities offered by some penis strokers like the KIIROO KEON. It allows someone from far, far away to control the stroking speed and length of the toy you're using. It can also sync to your favorite Interactive adult videos, too, for pleasure that's in time with the motions on-screen.
If you're someone who enjoys a lot of adult content, you might also find yourself into the idea of using a penis stroker that's lifecast from your favorite adult performer. That's a thing you can have now, too! There are multiple penis stroker lines now cast specifically from the genitals of famous stars.
You might want to go full-size and abandon the idea of a handheld stroker entirely. If that's the case, a sex doll like the Cloud 9 Life-Size Portable Sex Doll is probably more up your alley instead.
If you've seen your partner use an air suction vibrator and want to try it for yourself, that technology has also been packaged into the Arcwave Ion - just for penis owners. Designed for micro-stroking instead of full-sized strokes, the Arcwave Ion uses air suction technology to target the super-sensitive receptors of the frenulum for an entirely different sensation from standard strokers.
It's All About You
Like I said, there are so many things to know about penis strokers out there. Once you have the knowledge (like you do now!), the only thing left is to take that knowledge and apply it to your own needs. What features are a must have? What features are you willing to forego to get a lower price? It's all based on your needs, your budget, and your pleasure.
And that's exactly how the world of sex toys should be.