Earlier this month, Fleshlight launched a new product that they called the Fleshlight LaunchPAD, which is basically a holster that attaches to an iPad and allows the user to have enhanced video chat sex or POV masturbation sessions. I wrote that any advancement in sex toys for boys is welcome in my book but a closer look at the product had me feeling kind of… Meh.
After a great conversation with MiKandi founder and former sex toy designer Jennifer McEwen and a sillier one with my boyfriend during which he mimed the different ways a penis-haver could use the LaunchPAD while walking down a busy city street, I realized that this toy could use some major improvements.
Because I know the boys are all jealous over the fact that they have practically no sex toys while the girls have all the fun, I’m not going to just hate on the Fleshlight for their maybe-not-totally-necessary iPad holster. Instead, in the spirit of sex-positivity, here are our suggestions on ways Fleshlight could vastly improve on the current design, plus one truly innovative and interesting way that it could be used.
Number one is that they really need to get on the haptic technology bandwagon. For those of you who haven’t yet heard of haptic tech, the best explanation is those racecars in old school arcades that would shake as you “drove” them. That’s haptic technology, at its most basic level.
With the advancement and popularization of cell phones, that technology can now be applied to more grown-up toys. For example, companies like Vibease and OhMiBod have pioneered apps that connect to vibrators and dildos, allowing couples to get down and dirty even when they’re on opposite sides of the world.
For the Fleshlight LaunchPAD, haptic technology only makes sense. While I’m not an engineer, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be too hard to sync the motions happening in a porn video, for example, with the actions inside a Fleshlight. The Fleshlight Vibro already has vibrating technologies built in, so why not team up with a software engineer who specializes in haptics to create an app that communicates with the Vibro?
Along those same lines, I’d love to see Fleshlight develop the toys that we’ve all been waiting for: one that truly lets you feel like you’re fucking your partner (or porn) through the computer. I’m not sure what the drag is on the development here (not enough knowledge? stalling for Oculus Rift?) but it is way past time for you sex toy designers to get up on it. The first person who does it right is going to make billions.
Any sex toy designers who are interested in developing this toy should check out Ambrosia Vibe, which met their minimum funding goal on Indiegogo in one week. Claiming to be the world’s first bionic dildo, the Ambrosia Vibe transforms actions taken on the dildo onto a vibrator that then stimulates the wearer.
A sexual experience that combined the Ambrosia Vibe on one end and the Fleshlight LaunchPAD using the Vibro on the other, connected via haptic technology and a video feed would be so awesome. Video chat sex is already great but can you imagine how much greater it would be with these toys? I can.
Haptic technologies are really just the tip (couldn’t resist) of what could be done with the Fleshlight LaunchPAD. My favorite suggestions out of the conversations I’ve been having around this toy is using it for gender exploration. This could be a great tool for trans folks who are trying to decide if they want to go in for full genital surgery or even just for people who are interested in getting a taste of what it means to be a different gender.
Going further down the haptic tech/gender exploration rabbit hole, what if a user could strap on the Ambrosia Vibe and use it to fuck a Fleshlight that was connected via haptic tech to another Ambrosia Vibe that was fucking their partner?
I think my brain just exploded.