Calling It: The Sex Toy Market Is About To Be Overcome With Tentacle Dildos

Graphic: W+G Creative
Whether due to gender dysphoria, a history of trauma, personal-pleasure-product preferences, or anything else, reasons abound for why someone might elect to not use a dildo that looks like a biological penis. But did you know your options for non-realistic-looking dildos go far beyond classic rainbow-striped or hot-pink dildos? Some even look like tentacles. Yep, you read that correctly: tentacle dildos are here and ready to pleasure you.

Tentacle dildos are loved by many folks in kink, cosplay, science-fiction, fantasy, and gaming communities who are interested in bringing in more fantastical play into the bedroom. “You can use tentacle dildos to reenact a scene from a comic, manga, or anime,” says sex writer Ana Valens, creator of the Not Safe For Who? newsletter focused on kink, sex work, and queer eroticism. You can also imagine that your sexual partner has tentacles and is using them to pleasure you.

Experts In This Article

But those reasons barely scratch the surface of why someone might want to play with tentacle dildos. Keep scrolling to understand why tentacle dildos are gaining popularity—plus find options to buy and try.

Why someone might want to use a tentacle shaped dildo

Well quite simply, they invite a sense of play into the sack. “Tentacle dildos encourage people to re-imagine how penetration happens and open up a new way to think sex toys,” says Valens. “They prove that you don't need to have a cisgender man present for penetration to take place, nor do you need a real, human person to penetrate you for it to count as penetration.”

“They prove that you don't need to have a cisgender man present for penetration to take place, nor do you need a real, human person to penetrate you for it to count as penetration.” —sex writer Ana Valens

As such, using a tentacle dildo can be validating for queer folks who have long contended with false messaging that the only sex that "counts" is P-in-V intercourse between a cisgender, heterosexual man and a cisgender, heterosexual woman (which is, to be clear, far from the case).

Physically speaking, being penetrated by a tentacle dildo can feel good because most feature textured suckers that span their length and are akin to those you’d see on an octopus arm. When inserted internally, these nubs can help massage and stimulate your nerve-dense internal tissues differently than a smooth toy, mouth, or hand might, says Marla Renee Stewart, sex expert for Lovers, an adult wellness-brand and retailer.

Tentacle dildos have uses beyond just penetrative play, too. “They can be used to fondle or caress your erogenous zones,” says Valens, who suggests rubbing the textured bumps against nipples, butt cheeks, vulvas, penis-heads, and more.

Tentacles are not new to the bedroom

Even if tentacle dildos are new to you, know that they're hardly new to the expansive sex scene. Tentacle porn—a subgenre of hentai, a Japanese style of cartoon erotica—has been around for a long time. As certified sex educator Cameron Glover, sex education business coach and owner of Sex Ed Business Academy, explains in The Fantastical Pull of Tentacle Porn, the earliest-known instance of tentacle porn originated in shunga, an erotic form of Japanese woodblock carving, which was popularized by 18th and 19th century artists such as Katsushika Hokusai and Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

But, as is the case with any kind of erotica, “wanting to watch tentacle porn and wanting to try out tentacle dildos in real life are two different things,” says Stewart. That means while you may enjoy one, you may have no interest in the other. But both point to the fact that tentacles are something people are adding to their sex lives in a wide variety of ways.

Intrigued? Here’s how to introduce tentacle dildos into the bedroom

“It’s always best to introduce a new toy in a neutral space outside of the bedroom,” says Stewart, referring to partnered play. The kitchen, car, a park—anywhere—can all work well. When you’re there, start treating your partner to some words of affirmation because Stewart says “positive reinforcement can help your partner feel more open-minded.”

Next, share what you want to try (in this case, a tentacle dildo) and why. You’ll also want to invite your partner to share their opinion on the topic. You might say, “I really love when we explore role play together, and after watching hentai porn, I was thinking it could be fun to play out a scene where you’re an octopus and I’m a mermaid.”

Another way to open the conversation is to mention this very article. For example, “I read an article about tentacle dildos that made it sound like they could be a really pleasurable way to play together. Can I send you the link?”

Now that you've had the conversation, check out these 4 tentacle dildos to try

1. Icicles No 24, $49

Made out of hypoallergenic (read: hard-to-break) glass, the Icicles No 24 dildo brings together your love for glass toys with your intrigue for tentacle-inspired ones. Shaped like a miniature octopus arm, this beaut features the same textured nubs you’d expect to see running the length of the sea-creatures. Hello, sensation! Unlike most glass dildos, the Icicles No 24 is also safe for anal play thanks to its ringed-handle at the end.

Shop now: Icicles No 24, $49

2. Uberrime Xenuphora Alien Tentacle Dildo, $69

Given that uberrime is Latin for "luxury and abundance," it only makes sense that the toy manufacturer is lauded for its high-quality, silicone toys. Xenuphora’s vibrant color options make it a favorite among tentacle enthusiasts. The toy also features two rows of suckers running down its back and a strong vertical ridge down the front, making it perfect for anyone who knows that they definitely like prominent textures. (For those new to texture play, check out Uberrimes Xenousoid Alien Tentacle Dildo instead, which features more subtle suckers).

Shop now: Uberrime Xenuphora Alien Tentacle Dildo, $69

3. Fantasticocks Clithulu the Sea Beast Fantasy Dildo, $86

The thickest tentacle dildo on the list, Chithulu features 8.5 inches of insertable length and 4 to 6.5 inches in girth, depending on where along the toy you’re measuring. When you order yours, you can elect to have the dildo feature a suction cup base, which will allow you to secure the Clithulu to a chair, window, or bathtub ledge or wall and enjoy hands-free penetration.

Shop now:  Fantasticocks Clithulu the Sea Beast Fantasy Dildo, $86

4. Bad Dragon Ika, starts at $55.00

Winner of the AltPorn Awards in 2017, the highly customizable Ika is responsible for many-an-orgasm. It's available in 30 colorways and also comes in different sizes and levels of firmness.

But if needing to make so many choices leaves you feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips: I recommend opting for size small and going from there. And for fitness, I recommend going for the medium—the soft firmness makes the tip of the toy feel a little wiggly, while the hard firmness makes it pointy.

Shop now: Bad Dragon Ika, starts at $55

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