A Raging Suck-cess: Is Air Pulse Tech the Future of Sex Toys?

Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock for the last few years, chances are you’ve noticed a sleek new toy that’s found its way onto the shelves of sex shops just about everywhere. Enter the yet largely unchartered waters of air-pulse technology: toys which look much like the traditional vibrators we all know and love (and also a bit like facial cleansing devices, oddly) but behave in a slightly different way. The takeaway is that instead of buzzing against your skin, these toys blow sultry little blasts of air upon you like a sexy summer breeze! It’s masturbation, ladies, but not as we know it. 

While the sex industry continues to boom, it is not without innovation. Gone are the days of pleasing the public with your textbook powder pink dildo and bullet vibe. To keep up with the ever-changing tastes of the times, toy brands have had to rally and get pretty damn inventive. Of course, there have been plenty of mistakes we’d rather not rehash (the Accommodator facial strap-on, anyone?) but we’ve also adopted a number of successful newfangled designs such as the Eva couples vibe: a cute hands-free vibe that hooks over your labia. Not to mention sensational app-controlled panties - or perhaps the illustrious We-Vibe clitoral stimulators for use in penetrative sex. One thing is for sure - technology is giving sex a whole new edge. And perhaps it’s about time too? Time for some good vibrations. New ones, smarter ones; ones that work.

Womanizing Rethought

I first heard of The Womanizer in the same place I find all my hard-hitting news - Instagram, of course. This revolutionary new air pulse toy burst onto the market back in 2014 when Micheal Lenke, a little-known German inventor - and perhaps unsurprisingly - a doting husband, conjured up a toy so unique that people didn’t know what to do with it. While sex shops were torn by category placement, the rest of the world reached quizzically for the instruction manual. You see, the Womanizer isn’t a vibrator, and the Womanizer definitely isn’t a dildo. And even now five years on is shrouded in an unspoken mystery that’s rarely seen in the age of the internet.

As the originator of the technology (patented Pleasure Air Technology) Womanizer (arguably questionable name) has maintained the front-runner. But don’t let the name put you off - this is the kind of Womanizer you’d be glad to pick up on a lonely Saturday afternoon and probably wouldn’t want to put back down again. One thing that seems to have been universally agreed upon is that while essentially all women hate the name, most women totally love the product.

Now five years since it’s conception, the Womanizer brand is a solid name across the sex industry and offers a whole range of air pulse products. And with a brand emphasis on smashing the stigma of female orgasms and masturbation, it seems like they came along at just the right time. But why do you need one, and what model is best?

Womanizer Starlet

This pink pocket-sized little baddie is Womanizer’s most economical product; it’s small, light comes in cute candy colours and looks quite substantially less like an alien ray-gun than the others which is helpful if you think grandma might go raking through your drawers. However, with just 4 speeds, its lacking in variety and power as opposed to its big sisters. £62 / $79.

Womanizer Liberty

The perfect option for the gal on the go! With a magnetic closure case for simple, hygienic storage this is simply the best model for travelling with. With six air pulse settings it’s a step up from the Starlet, yet offers some handy new features such as an XL silicone head attachment, waterproofing and 120 mins of action from just one USB charge. Additionally, once the case top is added, it looks very inconspicuous - perfect for not giving the TSA agent a heart attack. £89 / $114

Womanizer Classic

The vanilla version that just about anyone could enjoy! The classic features eight pulse settings and four hours of playtime per USB charge - not that you’d need it as these little babies are almost guaranteed to get you off in record time. Sometimes simplicity is key, and the longer handle design means this model is perfect for those with less agile hands. Also, with the added addition of silent mode for ultimate stealthy fun. £120 / $150

Womanizer Pro

We’re almost running out of suitable names there are so many versions now... Depending on your taste, you could say the Pro is either the prettiest or the most dire. Featuring a Swarovski crystal and a range of pattern designs including leopard print and that kind of weird floral your mum’s gardening tools are made from - yikes. With a substantially shorter body, much like the Starlet, it’s certainly more compact - but reviewers suggest this can make it difficult to hold in place. A big step up with 12 settings no less, but alas, a hefty price tag to boot. £170 / $218

Womanizer Inside Out

I know what you’re thinking - where will this list end? But it would be sacrilegious not to mention the Womanizer combo models featuring air pulse technology plus a vibrating g-spot stimulator. First up, the Inside Out with 12 modes and functions that allow the air pulse thingamajig to work independently from the internal vibe and vice versa. Plus all the regular features such as waterproofing, silent mode and no less than two hours of battery life. The design is based on a “rampant rabbit” style setup, so if you liked the classic rabbit, this might well be your toy of choice. £170 / $218

Womanizer Duo

Following suit, the Duo offers a similar double whammy of pleasure with both internal vibe and external air pulse. In fact, I’m struggling to see what the actual difference is between these two models? The Duo has 12 settings also, two hours of battery time but does offer the newer “smart silent” tech which means that even when turned on to maximum it is not on and making noise unless it is in contact with skin. This is handy on several counts, as it means masturbating just got a whole lot more sly - no embarrassing moments when someone walks in. Equally, no jarring vibration noise that sounds like the neighbours are hammering drywall. And it certainly won’t turn itself on in your suitcase!! £179 / $230

Womanizer Premium

Last but not least, the Womanizer Premium which boldly offers “first-class orgasms” no less. Music to my ears, but for the price tag I would hate to end up in economy! It’s safe to say this is the newest and arguably best model. I, in fact, had to pause while writing this to purchase one, which I’m sure speaks volumes for a) my self-restraint and b) the absolutely glowing reviews this particular model has induced. And there is one little reason for that - “autopilot mode.” Autopilot is a totally new function where the toy takes over and produces a unique cycle of stimulation every time - much akin to a partner. This is probably as close as most of us will get (for now, anyway) to getting frigged off by an AI. While some reviewers claim they found the process somewhat tedious at first, they soon came to realize that the machine knows what it’s doing. Naturally, it also features all the other Womanizer tech with 12 settings, waterproofing, smart silence and long battery life. Sold! £169 / $217

The Economical Choice

Like all great inventions, air pulse technology didn’t take long to be replicated by several cheaper toy companies which offer a similar result for a much more manageable price point. As a friend of mine noted - you might be nervous around letting a cheap copy loose on your lady garden - but to my mind, these products have merely bridged a gap in the market that the luxe Womanizer products didn’t entirely fill. Most people probably don’t want to spend $200 on a toy - and that’s fair enough. Off-brand models are a great way to test the waters without dropping a small fortune. While there are a heap of random brands out there here are some good ‘uns that can get your rocks off for half the cost.

Satisfyer seems to be the most advanced set of economical air pulse toys - ranging from an extremely frugal $10 up to $150 for their premium product. The most affordable options run simply on AAA batteries, which would explain the pocket-money prices. The Satisfyer Pro series features almost all the bells and whistles that the mid-range Womanizer models do. Although Satisfyer has yet to delve into the depths of rabbit-style toys or autopilot sadly; so while the air pulse technology may be virtually identical, you may have to wait a little while for them to catch up.

Satisfyer One Night Stand

This has to be the best way to part with $10, no? It’s a one-use air pulse stimulator which holds 35 mins of pleasure. Of course, disposable items are becoming less and less popular in our current climate and certainly not for everyday use - but I can’t help but feel this could be a great addition to any handbag or for a weekend away. Also a great stocking filler - nan will be thrilled! Not to mention the simplest way to see if air pulse is for you. But, at such a price point, you have to wonder just how effective it can be in comparison to big boys. £8.95 / $9.99 (yes, really.)

Satisfyer 1 Next-Gen

This is the specimen I decided to experiment with. At just $23, the cost is negligible. Plus with 11 settings it’s barely shy of the 12 that Womanizer models boast. It’s also waterproof and supposedly “quiet” - but it actually makes quite a comical slurping sound in my experience! Nothing that would bother most I’m sure unless you’re specifically aiming to masturbate in a library - but still. The main difference with this model as opposed to the other Satisfyer collection is that this one of the few models that run on AAA batteries instead of USB charge. Satisfyer bills this as “great for travel” but of course added batteries makes it a little heavier and bulkier. Battery-powered devices last a surprisingly long time though so could be convenient if you know you won’t be able to charge up a lot. Glasto, anyone? £18 / $23

Satisfyer Pro Penguin Next-Gen

I’m not going to lie, this model bothers me. I know there’s a widespread curiosity with making women’s products cute via the addition of animal form - but, seriously? Does anyone really want Pingu letting loose downstairs? I think I speak for everyone when I say - ideally not. But with popular designs as the rampant rabbit, perhaps this is where designers get these crazy ideas. Note: the rampant rabbit didn’t involve inserting your clit into an animals mouth. Nonetheless, the Pro Penguin features all the same Satisfyer features like waterproofing and USB charge. And if you are into that kind of thing - at least he’s in formal attire - what a gent! £45 / $57

Satisfyer Luxury High Fashion

The highest end of the Satisfyer spectrum is this shiny, luxe-looking toy. However, I can’t help but notice a pattern emerging: 11 settings, waterproofing, USB charge - aren’t these the same specs from the cheaper models too? The main difference is the sleek aluminium exterior - although I do have to question - did anyone ever ask for a metal toy? There’s something about metal that doesn’t make me think of sexy time and more a jarring medical exam, but what do I know! One feature this high-end version has is the addition of traditional vibration too - because why not? £134 / $174

Satisfyer Pro 2 Next-Gen

This is Satisfyers top-selling product and for a good reason. While the design looks almost identical to the Satisfyer 1, they have added a stronger motor and reduced noise level significantly meaning what you are left with is pretty much the exact same as the Womanizer Classic. And, of course, with 11 settings, USB charging and now totally waterproof! At around half the price of the Womanizer Classic, I can see why a lot of ladies have opted for this more affordable product to test the water. £45 / $57

Honourable Mention:

Tracey’s Dog

Another toy with an appalling name but great reviews. An Amazon review of this product went viral meaning it flew quite viciously off the shelf - and for a good reason. While the Womanizer Inside Out and Duo have ventured into this world of combination air pulse toys, I think Tracey’s has a less terrifying finish. Similar to the We-Vibe design shaped like a “C” it features an internal g-spot vibe and an exterior air pulse stimulator. Possible marks down for gaudy pink colour and highly questionable name - but a strong contender for the price point. £32 / $41

Lelo Sonar Cruise

 Although this little gem states it uses “sonic waves” to generate it’s sucking sensation I feel like it’s pretty much the same thing, right? It just sounds techier. Either way, it caused a stir in the world of air pressure toys by offering “cruise control” which is essentially a way of pushing you over the edge when you need it most. If you push the toy against you firmly, it will increase power by 20%, creating a seamless user experience. £78 / $100

The General Consensus

So what do women think about air suction tech? Well...

“Let me tell you about this little slice of a man replacement! I bought this based off of reviews from several different blogs. Well to my surprise, they lied, this is not just an AMAZING sex toy, it’s a foot numbing, mind-blowing, make every stupid orgasmic face known to humankind, earth-shattering sex toy!!” Amazon Customer

“Unbelievable sex toy! Best orgasms I’ve had by far without another human involved. The sensation is very close to oral sex - and sometimes better! It’s hard to tell exactly what it’s doing and why it feels amazing.” Amazon Customer

“Amazing! This has replaced a Hitachi Magic Wand... I never thought that would be possible. I was a little apprehensive to buy it because the Magic Wand is such a powerful device and other toys have not been able to dethrone it. This thing is not about power, it’s about finesse..” Amazon Customer

“Can you marry a machine?” Love Honey Customer

“Clitoral suction devices are, in my opinion, the future. At a time when technology seems so evil, it’s wondrous that someone has done something good with technology.” Emily Writes @ The Spin-Off

So pretty darned great then, yeah?. While there are many brands on offer now, the Womanizer is still setting the pace for the industry. The new “autopilot” mode (virtually as close as you can come to being masturbated by a machine - for now anyway) is rocking users worlds to a whole new level. Consider the autopilot the next big move in air suction toys - soon coming to a cheap Chinese brand near you, no doubt.

While it’s mostly songs of praise, there have been some mild concerns raised by users. These tended to be within the realism of “it takes too long”, “it doesn’t take long enough”, “I don’t understand what’s happening” and one poor lady who had to have a sick day to recover from such violent orgasms - bless! But I get it - I too was thoroughly confused by these newfangled pleasure wands - and I think the secret of getting into the groove with air pulse tech is simply patience and practice.

To compare air pulse toys and your bread and butter vibrators; it’s a tough one. When I hear the comparison between the Magic Wand” thrown around, I’m automatically on high alert because of the Magic Wand (formerly Hitachi) is a toy of legend. A “massager” that grew a cult following as an awesome vibrator to the point where the company that initially made it basically disowned it and it became a brand in itself. The Magic Wand is also synonymous with helping anorgasmic women to achieve climax - largely because the vibrations on this thing are extreme - and this does ring true to air pulse technology similarly When I hear people start saying anything is better than the Magic Wand, then they have my attention. The Magic Wand is the Cadillac of vibes, but could air pulse toys be the shiny new Tesla?

The Lowdown

As a dedicated journalist, it seemed only fitting that I test drive these for the greater good of the people - you’re welcome. And what I can say from my finding is this:

  • You need to read the instructions
  • You need lots of lube
  • You need patience 
  • You need to be sitting down

To explain further - I first ordered a cheap Satisfyer model (Satisfyer 1 NextGen, to be precise) which confused me to no end before I read the instructions. Do I keep it still? Do I move it around? After years of clitoral conditioning, the idea of not moving it around seemed alien to me, but I can report this is exactly how you do it. Hold it in place and let the machine do the work. With all models other than the Womanizer Premium, this means you will need to change the settings as you go to increase/decrease intensity which can be relatively simple dependant on the design of your toy. Personally, I found the model pretty easy to use although it took a while to get used to the sucking sensation and for a short while it felt akin to sticking your pleasure pearl into a tiny little vacuum cleaner. It’s no secret that men have been enjoying the pleasures of vacuums for some years now, so perhaps it was only a matter of time until we followed suit.

The other toy I treated myself to was the Womanizer Premium - aka the air pulse toy to end all air pulse toys. Two very different ends of the spectrum. Premium is well, very premium. It feels expensive and extremely well-made, and with the new addition of autopilot, mode ladies can really kick back and let the machine do all the work. With no need to move around or adjust buttons, it allows the user to truly disconnect from the external world which I have yet to experience with another toy. The curved handle can be nestled on top of your legs, providing for a totally hands-free experience also. Although I was still forced to stop and read the instructions four times, so not necessarily a grab and go toy - but one that’s worth getting to grips with.

The Future of Toys

I think it’s safe to say that air pulse toys are not going anywhere anytime soon. Just from a quick glance online, you can see the air pulse tech is being added to all sorts of new toys at an alarming rate. Not sure how they are getting around that when supposedly the Womanizer technology is patented - but China finds a way! 

With that said, I’m not going to be throwing out my Magic Wand anytime soon, and neither should you. Air pulse toys are a work in progress and one you might take a little while to get fully accustomed to. I think it goes without saying the next step for air toys will be to make versions for couple play - ideally wearable ones that can be used during penetrative sex and also perhaps some kind of hand-attachment toy that would allow for all the fun without the bulk of the toy in the way. 

One big problem air pulse tech has solved is the worry of accidentally numbing ourselves with high powered vibes such as the Wand. The fact that nothing is actually touching means there is no fear of becoming desensitized. Additionally, the touch-free stimulation has meant multiple orgasms are now permanently on the menu. While vibe toys make the area sensitive, air tech allows for hours of pleasure without the sensitivity. With that said, you might like to reassess your life if you are spending more time with your new toy than your actual partner.

Technology can be frightening, and change unsettling. And, well, placing electricals downstairs can ultimately end one of two ways, but I think air pulse toys are worth persevering for. If to you $200+ isn’t a big deal, then, by all means, invest in yourself and get the swanky Womanizer Premium. But for those just wanting a dabble in these murky waters try any of the Satisfyer Pro 2 or low-end Womanizer products can offer you plenty of insight and delight! It may be a little while before air pulse puts classic vibrators out of business - but one thing is for sure: orgasms might never be the same again.