The History of Male Sex Toys

By Blake Parker
The History of Male Sex Toys
If you buy something through this post, Autoblow.com may be paid a commission. All opinions expressed are those of our resident sexpert.

Back in the day, it seemed like everyone would snicker when they heard anything about male sex toys or masturbation. People could talk openly about all sorts of dildos and vibrators for women, but the moment anyone mentioned a pocket pussy everyone would lose their minds. It’s almost as though society was holding the men back for no apparent reason, forgetting the fact that fake vaginas have been around since the dawn of time and refusing to admit how awesome they are. Fortunately, things have finally taken a turn for the better.

Laughing at a man for sexually pleasuring himself isn’t cool anymore; the idea no longer phases a vast percentage of the adult population. Now, our society seems to embrace male sexuality and the world’s best manufacturers have followed suit. The image we all have stuck in our heads of some sweaty dude cranking his yank in the darkness of an abandoned basement has finally been replaced by the more refined idea that masturbation is a perfectly natural part of the human experience. As a result, the market has exploded over the last few decades and now it offers a treasure-trove of male sex toys that give organic orgasms a run for their money.

What Is a Male Sex Toy?

Often referred to as a “pleasure product” or “marital aid,” a sex toy in general is just a device that’s used primarily to enhance masturbation and orgasm. The most popular versions are often made to look like real human genitalia, although several top-selling machines resemble anything but an actual person. Some are vibrating and others are not. Some have extra features while others are extremely simplistic. However, they’re almost always designed to mimic the sensations of sexual pleasure and they come in an extremely wide variety of shapes and sizes.

More specifically, male sex toys possess ergonomic, anatomically correct components that are put in place to pinpoint specific parts of the average man’s body, including but not always limited to:

  • the penis
  • the prostate
  • the perineum
  • the glans (balls)

Specially made toys have components that can include anything from detailed orifices and texturized masturbation sleeves to carefully curved shafts and glans stimulation pads. Devices designed for men can sometimes be used on a woman’s body too, but most of the time they’re crafted explicitly to milk the penis or prostate through either manual or automatic stimulation using a series of carefully curated features such as vibration, sonic undulation, suction, and/or stroking.

In the Beginning

Everything is always so damn difficult in the beginning, isn’t it? Much like creating anything in our reality, a lot of blood, sweat and tears are usually involved. Well, the development of male sex toys is no exception. It hasn’t always been pretty, but the outcome has changed the world in a thick and girthy way.

Long before we made fun of hairy-palmed guys or begged for better masturbation solutions, men were forced to do some pretty questionable things to their penises just to bust the simplest of nuts. The struggle has been ongoing for centuries, with recently unearthed evidence supporting our collective and continual desperation for debauchery. According to multiple sources, makeshift sex toys dating back as far as 2,800 years ago were dug up in various parts of Europe and Asia. Sadly, however, those devices look, function and feel nothing like what we’re used to today.

The humble beginnings of male sexual pleasure took place prior to the creation and eventual discovery of those ancient relics. As it turns out, archaeologists have since found even older devices and more dated pieces of erotic art throughout the world. So far, we’ve seen curiously kinky things like:

  • Dildos crafted out of chalk and stone
  • Masturbation sleeves fashioned out of cleaned up animal membranes
  • Pocket pussies made out of stale bread, with olive oil or jelly used as lube
  • Just about every type of hollowed-out fruit or vegetable imaginable

Even from an uneducated perspective things looked extremely bleak back then, and many men were getting seriously injured as a result of their poor decision-making process (which is pretty common for a man who has a raging boner). For example, it was normal for a guy to attempt an at-home penis extension by tying a rope to his dick and then attaching various sized weights to the end of it. He would wear that contraption around for several hours, if not days, hoping for his family jewels to expand. What ended up happening most of the time was straight up sad instead of successful.

Poor fuckers like him would be left with little more than a sore cock and a bad attitude because that shit didn’t work and it never will. Unfortunately, mankind didn’t get much of a chance to improve upon their techniques for quite a few centuries because sex toys and masturbation became considered “obscene” there for a little while by the Catholic church, leaving generations of men humping folded towels and tube socks before going to confession. However, the next phase in male sex toy development was a tad more promising, thank God.

The Rise of the Real Thing

Once our brethren finally figured out that there was more to this whole masturbation thing than simply stimulating the nerve endings on the penis or p-spot, things began to change. The transformation was slow at first, with only a handful of objects being invented each year and many of them little more than slightly improved replicas of the ones before it. Then in 1904, an alchemist by the name of Rene Schwaeble ran into a fella in Paris called “Dr. P.” They spoke candidly at a luncheon about making inflatable sex dolls and then four years later the world had its very first model, complete with multiple orifices and human-like detailing, being mass produced for sale to the public.

That quirky invention marked the first time an artificial vagina was invented in mankind’s entire history so you’d think it would be common knowledge. Unfortunately, guys couldn’t really get enjoy them because, believe it or not, possessing a fake pussy was outlawed in many countries. Even the United States government was against good, synthetic sex until 1960 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of adult entertainment shops and their subsequent inventories (dildos, pocket pussies, penis pumps, etc.). Paired with the relative innocence of the era, men still had only a handful of options until they started creating sex toys for themselves. 

Fast-forward thirty years to 1990 and the internet gets invented. With it came an enormous shift in the way people (men especially) enjoyed sex and/or masturbation, mostly because certain websites helped bridge the gap between lifestyles, fetishes, and realities. The radical shift in acceptable sexuality norms brought a plethora of interested men along, each one eager to experience the best orgasm of his life using the latest technologies. Imaginations wandered and ss the trend became more socially acceptable, underground communities began to spring into existence and male sex toys started being created as a natural answer to the increasing demand.

Meanwhile, the porn movie industry had been developing in the background and with the advent of the world wide web we had more access to non-stop filth than ever before. Guys started cumming together like a sticky brotherhood of fifi fans – sharing homemade sex toy recipes and hoping their cries for better products would eventually reach the gods of goo sex. Knowing that men were being exposed to bigger and better erotica every single day, the fledgling sex toy industry began spreading its legs to include everything from the rudimentary sex dolls invented just a few decade before to the new, innovative products we see today. 

Modern Male Sex Toys

Contemporary sex toys for men are far removed from the elementary devices we once slapped together in our garages and kitchens. We stopped humping couch cushions a long time ago, and now we’re fucking things that require little to no effort on our part. Many of today’s male sex toys are completely automatic, and if they’re not then they’re at least not made out of animal carcasses and leftover veggies. On top of that, today’s best male pleasure products are designed to stimulate the targeted erogenous zone without the help of a partner and most of them are extremely discreet as well.

In other words, men are no longer forced to fuck whatever they can find lying around the house and everyone is on board with the change. Things have become extremely sophisticated, in fact, and like a snowball the industry has grown commensurately with the demand for bigger, better, and more high-tech products. The average dude may be inundated with options these days, but at least he knows his selection is better than it once was.

As a matter of fact, the following 5 things are now the most common features on well-made contemporary male sex toys. Keep in mind that they weren’t always a part of the sexual satisfaction spectrum (as embarrassing as that is to say), but consumers shouldn’t pay too much attention to any device unless it has these things (lest they set mankind back a century or two in the process):

  • Skin-Safe Materials

Once upon a time, sex toys were made out of just about anything a man could get his hands on. These days, however, you’ll find more products made out of skin-safe materials than you can shake a stick at. And while watermelons and warm cherry pies aren’t harmful to a man’s complexion, they’re certainly not the ideal materials we’ve all been looking for, are they? Unfortunately, a handful of today’s manufacturers still produce male sex toys made with materials not much better than those things – stuff containing parabens, phthalates and latex. Those toys may not be composed of edible objects but they’re definitely not skin-safe or hypoallergenic.

As the industry expands, the reach of the average brand does as well. As a result, consumers can now enjoy toys made out of non-irritating, non-porous materials such as medical-grade silicone, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), stainless steel, tempered glass and patented polycarbonate blends such as SuperSkin, CyberSkin and FantaFlesh – three products designed exclusively by top brands to look, feel and behave just like real human skin. Plastic, fake and pathetic have been thrown out the window in lieu of the lifelike shit we have today, and most men are grateful for the ease of mind they get as a result. 

  • Anatomical Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of how machines work in tandem with the human body, but it’s not something we’ve been familiar with forever. Old-school sex toys for men used to be the size and/or shape of whatever was available, and nobody could figure out why nothing seemed to work as well as a partner’s pussy. A group of geniuses working over the course of many decades finally started understanding that it’s all about the device’s internal and external dimensions. The male sex toy market is a testament to that revolutionary discovery.

Modern models feature impressive ergonomics that make each toy incredibly easy to use for the average man, especially one who has mobility limitations. Button placements are carefully decided, orifices are measured to accommodate the greatest number of penises, and mechanisms are designed to stimulate the targeted erogenous zone like no animal carcass or hollowed-out vegetable ever could. So, while the price of a designer sex toy is much higher than that of a homemade pleasure product, the risk of missing out on a good orgasm is now at stake and most men aren’t willing to make that kind of sacrifice anymore. 

  • Specialized Textures

Because the main idea of a male sex toy is to stimulate either the penis, prostate, perineum or glans, all pleasure products for men now feature one or more specialized masturbation textures to explore. Guys are no longer locked into only a single sensation unless they purchase a device that’s designed for that kind of thing. Instead, today’s male can pick out specific textures for the inside and/or outside of his favorite sex toys (many times, based on a pre-determined performance goal or fantasy). This includes the canals of penis stroking machines as well as the shafts of prostate massagers, by the way.

In some cases, the maker of a toy will design their device to receive several different types of masturbation sleeves. Consumers can now customize their experience in numerous ways, including swapping canals and orifices at random – each one made to look and feel like real human partners or porn stars. You can even mold your own sometimes, create a collection, or integrate different devices as you see fit. The olden days of slamming makeshift muff are over, replaced instead by thousands of machines that are ready and willing to do your bidding.

  • Pre-Programmed Pleasure Settings

You can try until you’re blue in the face but you’ll never train an animal membrane or homemade fifi to fuck you or suck your dick like a professional. Those things are pathetic excuses for being horny, fit for only prisoners and men trapped on desert islands. Modern-day sex toys for men are much more sophisticated than that, with a myriad of pre-set pleasure modes to experiment with and too many customization features to mention. Forget trying to add or subtract your own stimulation; you’ll find pretty much everything waiting for you on the market already – push-button vibrations, sonic undulations, electrostimulation pulses, motion sensors, you name it.

In fact, you might even come across male sex toys that feature interactive components which allow you to enjoy real-time fun with a partner, even if they’re across the world. And while those devices may require additional equipment for the user(s) to enjoy the full spectrum of features, the fact that those machines are available is a testament to the fact that assisted masturbation is not only enjoyable but also sexy and acceptable by partners and society alike.

  • Customization Options

I don’t care how hard you try, there will never come a day when you can fully customize a grapefruit. Fortunately, men and their supportive sex toy inventors eventually figured that out and started making pleasure products that could be tailored to the user’s requirements pretty easily. Picky gentlemen could then change things like the toy’s size, shape, sleeve texture, external orifice, and even the operating code itself. Furthermore, some high-end devices became compatible with other sex toys, making them less of a personal pleasure object and more of a couples-friendly plaything and thereby creating a new trend in the sex toy industry.

Men and their chosen women can finally enjoy a wide variety of experiences together instead of separately – a change that has instigated an unexpected transformation in the way people view male sex toys in general. Customizable features and interchangeable components helped introduce the subsequent shift to the public, and now most men won’t even look twice at a pleasure product unless it either syncs with another one or allows for personal finagling of the suction and/or stroking features.

The Advent of Sexual Health Tools

Male sex toys have started becoming so high-tech and sophisticated that guys have begun responding in a surprising way. For one, we’re all gaining a better understanding of our own sexuality as shameless exploration and experimentation become the norm. However, we’re also starting to see the faults in our own stars – issues with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and Peyronie’s Disease to put it mildly. In short, the inevitable expansion of the marital aid and pornography industries has helped men all over the world start to pay closer attention to their bodies. Now that’s a historical fact worth reporting.

These ground-breaking products have unknowingly ushered in a more mindful perception about male sexual health, and that has resulted in the following:  

  • More substantial data
  • Better sex toy development
  • Improved intimacy between partners
  • Increased male sexual stamina
  • Improved performances
  • More satisfying orgasms
  • Boosted confidence

Basically, we finally realized that most men had an insatiable sex drive and an ever-expanding love of pornographic play, and sex toy use helped us see that we needed some assistance in certain areas. Without the invention of the very first sex doll or the fake vaginas that came after it, we might have never grasped the full potential of the male libido and that’s a very sad thing to imagine. The brazen innovations that occurred in this industry between the dark ages and now have allowed millions of men to get the help they truly need, especially in terms of growing their penis size, enhancing their performance, and/or getting and keeping a decent erection.

However, there’s no point in realizing all that stuff if you can do nothing about it. That ultimately came to our attention too. So, many of the same manufacturers who made the world’s first sex toys started developing penis extenders or pumps to suffice the market’s growing demand for a better anatomy. The same sad trends ended up occurring in that industry too – hundreds of embarrassing products being made before the good stuff ever got churned out, millions of dissatisfied customers and a brand-new stigma to go along with it. Eventually, we got a handle on things and our sexual health devices for men started becoming as effective as they were affordable.

What was once a shameful display of rudimentary suction devices that weren’t much better than the ropes and weights used by our ancestors became a sophisticated collection of effective mechanisms and supportive exercise programs, usually developed by doctors and sexual health experts. Guys were suddenly able to slap on a medical-grade extender, squeeze a handball pump to practice traction, or pop a handful of all-natural performance enhancement pills to enjoy the kinds of sex and/or masturbation they always wanted. When coupled with one of the top-notch sex toys being churned out at the speed of light, men had the unexpected opportunity to experience mind-blowing, customizable climaxes in the comfort of their own home (with or without a partner), all while improving their bodies and techniques in the background.

The Future of Sex Toys for Men

Our grandparents may have been horny and inventive bastards with plenty of time on their hands but that doesn’t mean they knew what they were doing, nor does it mean they had the tools and technologies to pull it off even if they did. We should be thankful that our skills are advanced enough to suffice our perversions because it wasn’t always that way. Let us be smart enough to remember where we came from as we usher in the prospect of high-tech male sex toys.

Don’t forget that intellect and discernment are what got us here in the first place, so never let go of those values when you consider the direction our current sex toy industry is headed. Manufacturers may be dependent on the fact that we’re blue-balled and bat shit crazy, but that doesn’t mean we have to settle for whatever they dole out. Here are the # most important features to keep your eyes peeled for as we catapult into the future:

  • Lifelike Performance Modes

What’s better than having sex with a live partner? Having sex with a machine that feels like a live partner but doesn’t need to cuddle when you’re done, that’s what. Male-focused pleasure toys now offer extremely lifelike performance modes, including things like ergonomic penis grippers, integrated motion sensors, manual and/or automatic suction controls, and built-in heating elements to increase realism and enhance the sensations of lube. Think: Cyberskin Twerking Butt Elite, guys. This is serious shit. As innovations continue, we’re surely set to see countless machines pop into existence – each one designed to augment or mimic reality in one way or another.

  • Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is what our phones and laptops use to perform in the ways we need them to, so why wouldn’t that technology eventually make its way to our sex toys? After all, A.I. is capable of learning exactly what we like and can give it to us without complaining, questioning, or begging. It only makes sense for our pleasure products to begin utilizing what Silicone Valley has been hogging for their toasters and tablets. So far, however, the only male sex toy to use artificial intelligence is the Autoblow A.I. In fact, that toy is considered by many to be the primary representative of what personal pleasure products will act look and like in the days to come.

  • Virtual Reality

As technologies advance, so too do the applications for it. Virtual reality, which was once reserved only for video gaming and medical practices, is quickly becoming a big part of the male sex toy spectrum. VR-compatible devices like the Kiiroo Onyx +, for example, allow users to interact with a wide variety of porn content – some pre-recorded and some live. The experiences are then played out by the integrated mechanisms with the device and the entire shebang continues until either the user gives up or the toy runs out of juice. Guys can quietly fuck their favorite porn stars to the rhythm of their own beat while enjoying the sights, sounds and sensations of a corresponding sleeve texture and orifice or enjoy the wiggles and giggles of their partner via webcams, Bluetooth, and motion sensors.

  • Hands-Free Operation

There are few things better than laying back and letting a partner or a machine do all the work for you. Laziness has never been as sexy as it is these days, with an increasing number of automatic martial aids for men being introduced to the market. Because hands-free functionality increases realism and promotes the element of surprise, dudes seems to dig it quite a bit. So, while manual masturbation toys will always have a place in our hearts and our stashes, automated machines are taking center stage faster than we originally expected. In fact, some of the world’s best manual toys can now be paired with an automatic housing unit for an extreme experience using any chosen texture and any selected performance mode.

NOTE: Top brands and manufacturers are always coming out with new and improved ways to cop a good orgasm, so keep your wits about you when trying something for the first time. Keep in mind that USB rechargeable devices are now extremely prevalent in the male sex toy industry, but that doesn’t always mean they’re the best option. However, plug-in machines are usually more durable, generally offer better power, and can be used for longer periods of time without needing a break.

Putting It All Together

In case you hadn’t realized it yet, we for real went from fucking old animal carcasses and shoving stone dildos up our asses to masturbating with virtual reality devices and humping machines equipped with virtual reality. You can’t say that a story with those kinds of details isn’t romantic. In the process, we learned about male sexual limitations and health concerns, plus we figured out the most efficient ways to squeeze our cheese along the way. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but at least we ended up where we are today because the alternative would have been complete bullshit.

About Blake Parker

Blake Parker makes Ron Jeremy look like Mother Theresa. His honest take on allthings pertaining to pleasure and relationships has made him a household name that’s synonymous with sexuality. Blake’s unique perspective on toys and techniques prepares the mind and body for more than just an incredible orgasm. Hisentertaining sex toy reviews, buyer’s guides, and How-To articles inform consumers of what nobody else will say. His readers demolish emotional/physical strongholds, tear down social taboos, and become more comfortable in their own skin as he and his partner enlighten the world one sex toy at a time. Notoriety isn’t the goal with Blake; satisfaction is.