You've probably heard of the Fleshlight, the sex industrys most infamous pun. Since CEO Steve Shubin created the company in 1995 , the patented Superskin vaginal molds became the worlds best-selling male toys. Fleshlight has again released a new product, and with it we are rocketed to the space-age of self-pleasure. Enter: The Quickshot Launch.
What is the Quickshot Launch?
If youre familiar with Fleshlights catalogue, the name actually explains it all. The Quickshot is an older Fleshlight product-egg shaped, open on either end, and small enough to fit in a hand. Now, users can mount the Quickshot inside the Launch, a sleek, black machine that lets the Quickshot pump up and down on its own. (Note: A Fleshlight representative said the product is currently sold out, but i'll be back up on the company's website soon.)
Holding the Launch over his groin, the user puts his member inside the Quickshot, and uses two handles at the base control the Quickshots speed (up to 250 strokes/minute) and focus (base, shaft, tip). An adjustable, universal smartphone mount at the top allows users to simultaneously watch their favorite video.
The Quickshot Launch isnt the first high-tech Fleshlight product on the market, but it is the most elaborate. As to its pioneering power, there may be some kinks to work out. (Inexplicably, there is no roof on the Launch to prevent the user's, um, relief, from shooting out the top.)
To be frank, it looks like a flight simulator. Fleshlight hasnt shied away from this comparison, if this video is any indication:
The ad is decidedly unsexy, but thats not the point. It embraces a futuristic approach to modern pleasure. When technology is woven into the fabric of daily life, its no surprise that more and more, we find it a part of sex. And that opens up a whole new world of possibilities; as Kerner pointed out, the Quickshot Launch "uses pressure and friction in ways were not accustomed to seeing."
How should we feel about high-tech sex toys for guys?
As the male toy market continues to advance, some worry that its marching to an unseemly beat. In Julie Becks brilliant Atlantic piece on sex dolls, Dr. Marquard Smith, author of The Erotic Doll, says that dolls can have social and psychological consequences for men who want to develop these intimate and erotic relationships with an inanimate human form. Its not a leap to be concerned that some men will attempt to replace romance with robotics.
When taken to an extreme, the future looks lonely: men sitting in their basements all day with VR sets, dolls, and Quickshot Launches that whir away, ignoring intimacy for pleasure thats no longer in the palm of the hand but at the push of a button.
The newness of the Quickshot Launchs design may be the cause of knee-jerk reactions and ideas of a sexual dystopia. Skeptics wonder if a correlation exists between more mechanical sex toys and isolation, or dehumanization tied to sex. But are these fears grounded in reality?
\"I wouldnt worry so much about a sex toy being dangerous to human sexuality.\"
Dr. Carol Queen, author and staff sexologist at Good Vibrations , a San Francisco-based sex store that promotes education and positivity, isnt too concerned. Pushback to male toys often assumes that we're supposed to express all sexual energy in connection with another person, she said. While its possible to avoid human connection, those who still seek human intimacy wont find their desires numbed by toys.
Fear of the Quickshot Launch and other high-tech male toys is simply a fear of the unknown. Womens sexuality, after all, terrified the United States and was completely repressed until not-so-long ago. Today, women have access to a discourse that thinks about toy use as positive claiming of one's own sexuality, Queen says. Hetero men don't have that shared way of communicating. This lack of communication is a part of the stigma surrounding mens sex toys.
What's up with male sex toy stigma?
There isnt much space to talk about products like the Quickshot Launch, cock rings, and prostate stimulators. Many men see their sexuality best contextualized [as] having sex with another person, Queen says . This in turn is associated with the idea that sex in general is supposed to be partner-based.
But toy-positivity can lead to great rewards! A 2018 TENGA Global Self-Pleasure Report of 13,000 respondents found that while only 53% of Americans think sex toys are useful for men, 80% of men who have used sex toys say that they are useful for improving their masturbation experience.
Its possible that some men will use the Quickshot Launch to escape deep-seated issues, but in those cases, it isn't the toy that's the issue. I wouldnt worry so much about a sex toy being dangerous to human sexuality, Kerner says. But I would look to someone whos escaping into masturbation, and whats happening with themselves in the real world.
The Quickshot Launch and other male sex toys have a ton of benefits.
For men who have trouble performing, Kerner said the Quickshot Launch might help them solve a sexual problem. It can help replicate a different kind of tactile experience or a level of unpredictability, he added.
A more normalized toy culture would allow men to better perform with partners and feel confident in their healthy desires. If the Quickshot Launch is able to provide pleasure, and foster a more positive environment for solo play or in consensual sex, its hard to find realistic reason for opposition.