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Fleshlight is a brand of male masturbatory devices produced by the company Life Forms, which is named after its flesh-like material and flashlight-style housing.
According to an interview with Fleshlight creator Brian Shubin, he came up with the idea for the fleshlight in the mid 1990’s when “women were just becoming OK with talking about using vibrators.” The original model was referred to as the “pink lady,” and featured a rubber labia-shaped mold on top of a flashlight-style plastic housing (shown below).
On June 21st, 2011, the design blog Good published an interview with Shubin, in which he claimed over four million Fleshlight devices had been sold that year.
On August 11th, 2004, Urban Dictionary user Bah submitted an entry for “fleshlight,” defining it as a male masturbatory device shaped like a flashlight. On December 4th, 2008, the /r/fleshlight subreddit was launched for discussions related to the masturbatory device. On September 11th, 2010, YouTuber Da DANKS uploaded a video demonstrating how to make a DIY fleshlight (shown below). In the first four years, the video gathered over 5.07 million views and 3,700 comments.
On January 6th, 2012, Redditor Dat-Throwaway submitted a post to the /r/AskReddit subreddit, questioning an assumed double standard between men and women in regards to sex toy usage. Prior to being archived, the post garnered more than 7,400 upvotes and 4,400 comments. On March 14th, the Fleshlight Reviews Tumblr blog was launched. On June 12th, YouTuber WonderWanker uploaded a video demonstrating how to make a DIY Fleshlight with a powerful vacuum (shown below, left). On June 19th, YouTuber Jeremy Ko uploaded a Chinese news report in which a Fleshlight-style masturbatory aid is confused for an unidentified mushroom (shown below, right). In the following two years, the videos accumulated upwards of 1.3 million and 4.2 million views respectively.
Social Media Presence
On March 4th, 2012, a Facebook page titled “Fleshlight” was launched. On March 18th, 2014, the Fleshlight Vine feed was created. As of April 2014, the @Fleshlight Twitter account has over 35,000 followers. Fleshlight maintains a website with an online store and discussion forum.
Autoblow 2 Indiegogo Campaign
On April 9th, 2014, an Indiegogo campaign for the Autoblow 2 “oral sex simulator” was launched, which works as as robotic Fleshlight-style device.Within two weeks, the campaign had reached over $44,000 of its $45,000 goal.