Suction sex toys are a hot trend right now. Namely, it’s clitoral air-pulsators that are dominating conversations, shelves and headlines. There’s much more to suction toys, however, than just this one type of device (it can even be argued that air-pulsators aren’t true suction toys because they manipulate airflow to mimic suction rather than using a tight vacuum seal). Traditional suction toys like genital pumps, nipple toys and cupping sets have been used by kinky folks for years. They are now piquing the interest of more mainstream, vanilla customers, too.
Vacuum suction toys create sensations that no vibrator, oscillator, or even air-pulsator can produce. This unique feeling lies in the strong vacuum seal these toys create. These types of pumps increase blood flow to whatever area they are used on; if it’s the genitals, for instance, it causes them to engorge and swell with increased blood flow, driving sensitivity through the roof.
Erotic cupping can be quite sensual and is considered a ‘beginner’ BDSM activity.
Erotic Dry Cupping
This is a form of sensation play using bell-shaped cups that is commonly practiced in BDSM. Cupping was believed to have originated from Chinese medicine and used to relieve sore muscles and increase one’s feeling of wellbeing. Erotic cupping can be quite sensual and is considered a “beginner” BDSM activity. It has also become increasingly popular in other circles over the last few years.
A proper cupping session requires the use of a cupping set. Cups can be applied to most areas of the body; the back and thighs are common choices. They can also be placed on erogenous zones like the breasts, nipples, clitoris, or butt cheeks. Larger cups create more suction and thus more intense sensation. This Sukshen set comes with a handheld external pump that helps suck out the air to your desired comfort level and create a firm seal.
When dry cupping, it’s important to lubricate the skin first. This makes the experience more comfortable, plus allows you to move the cups around the skin without breaking the seal. Cupping usually leaves behind red circular marks similar to bruises, and they may take a few days to fade. These marks are caused by the suction bringing blood to the surface of the skin. Erotic cupping can range from pleasant to painful as it’s being performed, depending on the pressure intensity used. When the cups are removed, the skin’s sensitivity is heightened dramatically. This opens the door for sexy touching and bodily exploration.
There are other forms of cupping, like wet cupping, which involves breaking the skin. Fire cupping uses flames to create a vacuum seal. These are advanced forms of play that should only be performed by those who have undergone proper training. Dry cupping, however, is suitable for people of all experience levels — especially beginners.
Clitoral pumps function similarly to cupping sets. These devices are designed to draw blood into the clitoris and/or labia, leaving them engorged. This temporarily enhances sex as it dramatically increases sensitivity in these areas. Some claim pumping can permanently increase the size of the clitoris over time as well. Many enjoy clitoral pumps because they aid in sexual arousal by increasing blood flow to the genitals.
Anal suction pumps are also an option. When anal pumping, it’s important to not use too much pressure. The skin around the anal opening and in the rectum is very delicate and can damage easily. Some prefer to only pump enough to engorge the anus. Others pump slowly for longer periods of time to induce prolapse. Just like with cupping sets, all body suction devices should be lubricated before application for a comfortable fit.
Most shoppers are familiar with nipple clamps, and suction devices take the effect of clamping to a new level. Nipples swollen from pumping are exceptionally sensitive; some argue even more so than clamped nipples. Simply turn the dial to your desired level of pressure.
Suction toys are the talk of the pleasure products industry thanks to the popularity of air-pulsators. But other types of suction toys have been around for many years. Old favorites like cupping sets and pumping cylinders have recently experienced a resurgence. They’re moving into the mainstream and are no longer just for the BDSM crowd. In retail spaces, suction toys can be a great add-on item or a main draw. Make sure you’re well stocked and knowledgeable about all types of suction toys so you can offer the most variety to your customers.
Rebecca Weinberg is the general manager of XR Brands, which specializes in fetish and BDSM with full-spectrum product development and design to create a series of fully merchandised collections dedicated to the lifestyle.