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Fleshlight-300x225Masturbation, I’ve discovered, isn’t just for women. Just joking. I know guys beat off. But a recent article on AlterNet (by my favorite erotica writer, Rachel Kramer Bussel) reports on the explosion of devices designed for men to get their rocks off: Guybrators! Prostate massagers! Fleshlights! Inside the Expanding Male Sex Toy Market.

Maybe “explosion” is the wrong word. “Wave” is better:

“[T]here’s a wave of products designed for and marketed to men, for solo use or with a partner. These include the newly launched “guybrator” Pulse; Lovehoney’s Edge line, which includes a penis pump and “stamina ring;” Aneros prostate massagers; Tenga masturbation eggs; cock rings; and perhaps the most well known, the Fleshlight and its gay male-oriented line, Fleshjack, which has to be credited with humor points for its Count Cockula, complete with “soft, vampire mouth.”

Who knew?

The Fleshlight has been around for a while. But the trend is away from male masturbators that mimic the look of female genitals, the article reports.

Claire Cavanah, who cofounded sex toy store Babeland in 1993, where 40 percent of the customers are men, explained just how far male sex toys have come over the past few years. “The Fleshlight was the standard for men and it was perfectly fine to want to use this big, macho flashlight-disguised masturbation sleeve that featured a woman’s genitals as the entryway. Now, though, I think there’s a new type of consumer.” This, after all, is the digital age of dildos: “They don’t want the graphic details of the Fleshlight,” Cavanah said, “but are attracted to the technological design of the Tenga Flip instead — its engineering and technology give it cachet, and it doesn’t hurt that it would look right at home next to your iPhone.”

I’m all for this. If masturbation is good for women (and it is!), then it’s good for men. Also, if I may add, more men, especially younger men, need to masturbate before they have sex with a woman. You know, a pre-date whack. They’ll last longer. No icky, ill-timed ejaculations. Or premature ejaculation. And that’s good for everyone involved.