What Are Fleshlights Made Of – And Is The Material Body-Safe?

Fleshlights are made from Super Skin, a proprietary material that is body-safe — but porous. Which means it can harbor bacteria, even after cleaning.
aerial photograph of a fleshlight sleeve removed from its case to display its materials against a dark grey background
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Updated:October 2023

Fleshlights are made from a proprietary, phthalate-free material known as SuperSkin that is body-safe but porous — which means it can easily harbor bacteria and although it can be cleaned, it can never be fully sanitized.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dr. Sarah Melancon, a Sociologist and Certified Sexologist on our medical review board advised that although Fleshlight material is body-safe, it is porous. “There are microscopic holes that can harbor bacteria,” she explained, adding that “there is no way to sanitize the toy.”
  • Sergio V., a representative from Fleshlight, explained that the company’s toys are made from a proprietary “mineral-based polymer, made with food-grade white mineral oil.” This is formally referred to as SuperSkin and is 100% free from phthalates.
  • All Fleshlight masturbators are crafted from SuperSkin, which may be flesh-toned, clear, blue, or even black, depending on the toy type.
  • The outer casing of Fleshlight toys (if they include one) is molded from hard ABS plastic, one of the safest sex toy materials available.
  • Fleshlights (and their materials) are body-safe and can last a good long while with proper care, although Dr. Melancon advises that these sex toys should not be shared with others, as they cannot be sanitized.

Invented in the 1990s by former Los Angeles County police officer Steven Shubin, the Fleshlight gained notoriety for its incredibly realistic masturbation sleeve — which feels so much like real skin that many people felt it was taking masturbation to the next level.

While Shubin and Fleshlight keep the SuperSkin formula a tightly-held secret, we spoke to a company representative about what they’re made from and discussed their safety with our medical review board.

Fleshlight Material: Everything We Know

photograph of a fleshlight sleeve with the vulva orifice facing the viewer and its case in the background

Fleshlights use two different types of materials: The masturbation sleeve is made from SuperSkin and the external casing, if the product has one, is solid acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic.

SuperSkin is Fleshlight’s top-secret, patented material — which has an eerily realistic skin-like texture.

We spoke with Sergio V., a Fleshlight representative, who said that SuperSkin “is a mineral-based polymer, made with food-grade white mineral oil.”

“It is 100% hypoallergenic,” he told us, adding that it’s fully body-safe.

The entire Fleshlight masturbation sleeve is made using this patented, phthalate-free material.

SuperSkin is used in all Fleshlight models, including:

  • Classic Fleshlights
  • Stamina Training Unit (STU)
  • Fleshlight Go (including Torque)
  • Fleshlight Girls
  • Fleshjack Boys
  • Quickshot (including Vantage)
  • Flight Series
  • Fleshlight Freaks
  • Fleshskins

This trade secret material sort of feels like silicone — it’s squishy, soft, silky, and most importantly, it feels like the real thing whether it’s modeled after a vagina, anus, or mouth.

photograph of a hand with a folded fleshlight sleeve squeezed between the fingers to demonstrate its flexibility

Depending on the model, Fleshlight’s SuperSkin can be translucent or feature a variety of solid colors, including flesh tones, pink, blue, black, or more unusual shades, most often incorporated in its Freaks line (available around Halloween).

The outside ‘shell’ or container of a Fleshlight, for models that have one, is made of hard ABS plastic and designed to resemble a flashlight for discretion and style.

Hence the catchy name, Fleshlight.

Is Fleshlight Material Body-Safe?

photograph of fingers pulling at the material of a fleshlight sleeve to demonstrate its stretchy texture

Fleshlight material (SuperSkin) is safe for your skin and genitals, although there are caveats to consider.

Dr. Sarah Melancon, a Sociologist and Certified Sexologist on our medical review board, explained:

“Fleshlights are made from body-safe materials, though they are porous.  

That means there are microscopic holes that can harbor bacteria, so while it is important to clean a Fleshlight after every use, there is no way to sanitize the toy.

This is less of a concern for external toys (versus internal dildos or butt plugs) but shouldn’t be shared with another penis.”

Sergio V., the Fleshlight representative we spoke with, said the company’s patented SuperSkin is 100% hypoallergenic, but if you experience a skin reaction after using one, don’t ignore it.

Speak to your doctor, check your lube’s ingredients, and discontinue using your Fleshlight if necessary.

To ensure the product is safe to use, it’s crucial to wash your Fleshlight after each and every use — and that means removing the sleeve from the case and washing both.

close up photograph of a hand squeezing a fleshlight sleeve to demonstrate the material's texture

The surface of a Fleshlight can be a cesspool for bacteria if you don’t regularly wash and dry it after use and could even grow mold if you don’t clean and care for it properly.

To clean and maintain your Fleshlight:

  • Remove the SuperSkin masturbation sleeve from its case
  • Wash and rinse the plastic case, setting it aside to dry
  • Run the sleeve under warm tap water to flush out any semen, lube, or debris
  • Using Fleshwash or another compatible toy cleaner, massage and lather to give it a good wash
  • Rinse the sleeve under the running water until it runs clear with no soap residue
  • Dry the sleeve thoroughly (air dry on a towel, or use a Fleshlight dryer until the inside is completely dry
  • Dust the sleeve with Fleshlight Renewing Powder (cornstarch)
  • Don’t share your Fleshlight with anyone else

For optimal safety and to ensure the longevity of your Fleshlight, you’ll need to do this after every use.

Don’t wait until tomorrow, as cleaning it will be much easier (and more effective) if it’s done immediately.

Is Lube Compatible With Fleshlight Material?

Yes — but it’s important to note that water-based lubricants are best (and safest) for use with the Fleshlight.

Our top water-based lube recommendations are below; each was selected after rigorous testing by our team.

You could also try Fleshlube, which is the water-based lubricant created by Fleshlight — made specifically for use with their SuperSkin material.

You’ll want to avoid using lubes made from silicone or oils, as their ingredients may potentially degrade SuperSkin (and ruin your toy in the process).

Personal lube will make the experience of using a Fleshlight much more realistic and comfortable, reducing friction while increasing pleasure — as long as you’re using the right kind.

Closing Thoughts

Fleshlights are made using its patented, body-safe SuperSkin material and although we may never know exactly what the secret formula is, millions of penises agree that it feels great.

Fleshlight is safe to use as a masturbation toy as long as you clean and dry it thoroughly after every use, practice proper maintenance to ensure its longevity, and don’t share it with friends.

(They can buy their own.)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our Complete Guide To Fleshlights and Everything Fleshlight hub, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore and review all aspects of Fleshlights from the company’s discreet billing and shipping, to the types of products they carry, how to use them, materials, and safety.