Interview: Meet the Male Sex Toy Tester
Last month, the internet let out a collective ‘seriously?’ at a job advert for the best/worst role in the world: ‘The Hand Job’. An advert from sex toy producers Hot Octopuss sought men who were, ahem, un-stimulated by their job to join their in-house team testing a new range of deluxe Guybrators. Within 24 hours over 2000 men had applied—but what does being a male sex toy tester actually involve?
To find out, we spoke to Topher (25), the male tester at designer sex toy creator, Nexus. If you’ve tried, considered, or even fleetingly thought about a male sex toy (don’t be ashamed, you’re with friends here), you have Topher to thank for it. For six years, he’s been the deciding voice on which toys make it to market, working behind the scenes to test, evaluate and improve the fast-growing male sex toy industry.
How long have you been working in this role? Where were you before?
I’ve worked in the adult industry since I was 18, that’s seven years now—which scares me a little. I still feel 15. I still act 15. Before this I worked as a bell boy at a five star hotel in London.
How many toys have you tested?
I have honestly lost count. Over the years I have owned and tested hundreds of sex toys, both alone and with ex-partners. It’s always fun to bring a one night stand home and give them a (good) surprise. I’ll never get bored of testing them.
What are the factors used to figure out how good a toy is?
What it comes down to really is—does it feel good? You don’t want something that’s going to make you feel numb with too strong a vibration or something that’s hard to manoeuvre. Personally I am drawn to toys that have various settings and are easy to handle. I am always excited when a new product comes out on the market.
Describe the process of testing a sex toy.
What I usually do is chill out at home, get the toy out of its packaging, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS and just go for it. It’s really important you read the packaging, as you might miss out on an awesome setting that’ll make the experience better.
When it comes to evaluation, you want to focus on stimulation and whether it hit the pleasure points in the correct ways. For example with Penis toys, you want something which will massage and grip the frenulum area / penis head as this is the most sensitive point. If it is tight and textured and glides up and down the shaft simply—perfect. Personally, I prefer mid-vibration—nothing too intense as it numbs (both men and women). A good way of testing a ‘moving’ toy is seeing if it will bring you to orgasm without you having to pull it up and down (like masturbation). I usually test a toy 2-3 times before deciding on it, as some days you can feel more sensitive than others.
Have you eliminated any toys from going to market? What were they and what happened?
Yes, a few cheap rip offs of other toys and just bits that didn’t feel good. I find that a lot of masturbators aren’t very good. Not a lot of thought goes into some men’s toys, I think a lot of brands think “Just make it spin and vibrate and they’ll love it” which a lot of the time, is not the case. It just makes your penis feel numb and can be a bit too intense when you orgasm.
Do you have to use the toys? Do they lose their appeal after a while?
Yes! I love using the toys. I get bored of some after a while but I have a large enough selection now to keep me occupied. I love pleasure and exploring new ‘pleasure zones’, so if there is a toy offering a ‘new sensation’ or experience, I’m down for trying it. I am always browsing the trade magazines for new bits.
Do you feel sex toys have increased or decreased your sexual appetite for humans?
I feel a lot of people are concerned that toys will decrease your appetite for humans, but for me, it’s not the case. If anything, it does the opposite as it educates you on pleasure points, spots and even techniques that feel good. There are some things you can do with your mouth and fingers that no toy will ever manage—that’s the fun bit. I honestly believe the use of sex toys is fantastic for your sexual appetite and they are also fantastic for keeping sex exciting in long-term relationships.
What are your opinions on the male sex toy industry, growing or waning? Where is the future of sex toys?
Technology is changing a lot of things. Toys are becoming interactive with porn films, remote controlled, Bluetooth controlled etc., it’s really exciting. I would say the industry is getting a lot better for men, big brands such as Pipedream and Doc Johnson are always bringing something exciting to the table and I love it.
What toys are popular right now? What, in your professional opinion, is the best one out there?
I would say the BEST toys available right now would be the Nexus Stealth Prostate Massager, not just because I work there (honestly). It does feel great. I would also 100% recommend that every man try the PULSE penis massager. And always use a good lube. It’s so important.
I personally like ID Glide water based for use with sex toys and Pjur Original silicone based lube for sex.