[Content warning:  Discussion of sex toys, as well as photos of related items.]

Behind the read more link is a general description of what a sleeve is and how it is used.  The post contains images of sleeves, but not in a sexual setting.  Several of the toys depicted are shaped like vulvas.

Sleeves are soft, flexible, generally stretchy tubes or cups, often with a textured interior.  They range from only about an inch or two long to nine or ten inches long.  Some sleeves are open on both ends, while others have one end that is closed off, like a cup.  Some sleeves have plain entry holes, while others are designed to resemble various parts of the anatomy.  At its most broad definition, even a condom could potentially be considered a sleeve, although they are generally not called one.

Certain types of sleeves are also sometimes called “strokers” or “onaholes”.

Sleeves are primarily designed for use with a penis.  The shorter sleeves or cups are used to stimulate the head of the penis, while longer sleeves can be used for full penetration with the entire shaft.  If the sleeve is open on both ends and is short enough, then the head of the penis can come out the other end when used. There are some sleeves that are specifically designed and marketed for use by transmen or people with a large clitoris.

Most sleeves can be used by stroking, that is, by inserting the penis and moving them up and down along the shaft.  Other sleeves, particularly the shorter close ended sleeves and cups, cannot fit the entire penis.  These sleeves are used to stimulate the head of the penis and end of the shaft, either by short strokes, or by a twisting motion.  Many sleeves are soft-sided, so additional pressure can be applied by squeezing with the hand.

Many sleeves are meant to be used in a handheld manner, but it is possible to set them up in such a way to permit hands-free use.  In this manner, hip thrusting is used, moving the penis in and out of the toy, rather than moving the toy up and down along the penis.  Some toys even have suction cup mounts, so they can be attached to any hard, smooth surface.

Sleeves are not typically meant to be used on the clitoris, or used in the vagina or the anus.  Some sleeves, known as “enhancers” are marketed less for masturbation and more for partnered sex.  These types of sleeves are designed to be placed on a penis or a dildo to give it a texture and/or a larger size.  Other sleeves can potentially be rubbed against the clitoris.  In particular, some of the smaller cups can be turned inside out, and the interior texture may be used.

Sleeves must be used with lubrication.  Attempting to use a sleeve without adequate lube is a one-way trip to a friction burn on something you don’t want to have a friction burn.  Water based lubes are your best bet, as oil or silicone lubes may damage the toy.  (Hand lotion is an oil-based, so don’t use that!)

One of the benefits of a sleeve is that it tends to contain the fluids involved.  The lubrication goes on the inside, keeping your hands dry and clean, and if the sleeve is long enough or is closed on the end, it will also contain the ejaculate, if there is any.

It is important to keep sleeves clean and dry.  Failure to properly clean and dry them can, at best, lead to a bad smell, and at worst, lead to an infection.  Cleaning them can be tricky, particularly if a toy is closed on one end.  If a toy is open on both ends, run water through it, then sort of “hang it out” to dry.  If a toy is reversible, you can turn it inside out to wash it off and dry it, both inside and outside.  If a toy is closed-ended and not reversible, it can be difficult to dry.  Methods include carefully stuffing a paper towel or cloth into the opening to sticking a small air tube from a fish tank air compressor inside and letting it blow the moisture out.  (If you want my opinion, close ended, non-reversible toys should be avoided, due to this cleaning hassle.)  Do not use soap when cleaning a toy, as soap can damage it.


Here are a few images of just a sample of the wide variety of sleeves that are out there:

This image is a photograph of a number of sleeve masturbation toys. Several are modeled after anatomy, including one resembling a vulva. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a collection of various types of sleeves.  They come in various colors and sizes, with different external features and internal textures.  Some are non-descript, while others are designed to resemble various body parts.  Vulvas, butts, and mouths are common shapes, but there are also more, um, “creative” designs, like feet, hands, or breasts.  The external design of the sleeve often has very little impact on its effectiveness.  The interior texture is far more important.

The blue sleeve on the left and the white sleeve on the right will be featured in another photo later on.

This image is a photograph of a Fleshlight sleeve masturbation toys. The toy has an opening resembling a vulva with visible labia. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a Fleshlight.  It is a soft, stretchy sleeve that fits within a hard case.  The hard case restricts the sleeve’s expansion, creating some interior pressure as the penis is inserted.  The case also has cap at the end, which can be tightened or loosened to adjust suction.  Fleshlights have a variety of interior textures and exterior designs (including a plain, non-anatomical model).  The sleeve is long enough so that most penises can be fully inserted, which allows the Fleshlight to stimulate the entire length at the same time.  The sleeve is removable and open ended for easy cleaning.

Important note:  Although some of the marketing for this toy claims that it’s “discreet” because it “looks like a flashlight”, it does not look like a flashlight in any way and is not discreet.  It is also rather large, which might make it difficult to store or hide if discretion is important.

This image is a photograph of a Tenga brand sleeve and a similar competitor. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

This image is a photograph of a Tenga brand sleeve and a similar competitor. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

These are close-ended reversible sleeves.  The blue one is a CalExotics Apollo, and the white one is a Tenga 3D Pile.  This type of sleeve can be turned inside out for cleaning.  The top picture shows the textured interior, while the bottom picture shows the toys inverted, so the texture is on the inside.  This is how they would be used.

This image is a photograph of several “egg” style sleeves. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

Here are some smaller, close-ended toys, primarily for penis head stimulation.   The one in the lower right is inside out to show the texture.  These kinds of toys often come in small plastic storage cases.  They are smaller and thinner than many other sleeves, which typically means that they are both cheaper and more fragile than some other types of sleeves.