The Fleshlight Stamina Training Unit (STU) is one of the internet’s most mentioned and recommended Fleshlights, second only to maybe the Destroya. But while it has sort of been on my “must try someday” list since my eyes were opened to the world of Fleshlights a few years ago, whenever I’ve had the budget, I’ve kept passing it up in favor of new models for three reasons:
- The inside texture looked boring compared to other Fleshlights
- I don’t really have a stamina problem in bed…anymore
- Gold is kinda tacky (says a dude holding a fake vagina)
But the fear of missing out finally caught up with me. I had to know if STU’s popularity was all hype or if I’d been missing out on something amazing. (As usual, I ordered direct from Fleshlight.com with zero hassle.) The verdict—I’ll get right to it: the STU is no joke.
Here’s how the Fleshlight STU taught me that less is sometimes more, caused me to reflect on how much men struggle with anxiety in bed, and softened my aversion to gold.
Fleshlight STU sensation and experience
Once you discover Fleshlights (or sex toys for men in general), you become aware that through different texture and pattern designs, a whole world of sensational variety awaits—different “flavors” of friction-based pleasure available to you practically on-demand. Your imagination begins to anticipate the different sensations that might result from each design—swirling, squeezing, twisting…maybe even combinations of all three. So the STU, with it’s plain and simple bumps, has always seemed uninspiring next to the zig-zags and varied tightness of sleeves like the Vortex, or the sequence of 6 radically different textures, one after the other, on the Ice Crystal, and certainly the bulb of fluttery extensions inside the Destroya. Even though I continue to enjoy the Wonder Wave, my first Fleshlight featuring simple ribbing, and the Mini Lotus, still my favorite overall Fleshlight, I just didn’t see much potential in the STU. I imagined it just being more of the same or not much of anything at all.
I was wrong—very wrong.
There is something to be said for repetition—for finding something simple that feels good and doing it over and over again. I was completely caught off guard by the relentless wall o’ pleasure that the STU’s seemingly basic pillowy bumps deliver. I don’t normally have a stamina issue in bed, but I was finding myself almost powerless against the STU.
Round 1—first use: The STU made me cum in less than one minute, no kidding.
To provide some context around just how surprising this was to me, I’m hardly sex-starved at the moment (knock on wood), and it’s great sex, actually. In fact, things had worked out nicely for me less than 24 hours prior to this first go with the STU. Second, I write for this sex blog, which gives me an excuse to try out lots of feel-good play things like Fleshlights, Tengas, and guy-vibes. In fact, I use a Fleshlight—a Mini Lotus or a Flight Pilot—at least once a week, a practice that I credit for me not having a stamina problem in bed as it is. So, stuff that feels really good is not a new thing to me. I’m experienced. I’m no sexual noob.
But, five seconds into my first go with the STU, and out loud I uttered, “oh…wow”.
After 15 seconds, I took it off and paused for maybe another 15.
“That’s insane”, I said out loud again…to nobody. (Such sexy talk, right?)
At the 30-second mark I went back at it and immediately said “oh shit”. I was just feeling so…so much. I was already at that point where there was no stopping the orgasm. It felt too good to stop. This thing was going to make me cum right then and there no matter what. And I did. And it was messy. And I was uncharacteristically vocal and loud about it. And it was great.
I hadn’t even warmed the STU up—I went at it cold. I wasn’t really even all that turned on before getting into it. It was literally like—”I’ve got to get this article done, I’ve only got 10 minutes before I need to get in the shower and get ready to go do something else…so let me just see if I can do this.”
Frigid fake vagina, not even really horny, yet I still came in less than one minute. Damn.
But does that mean I won or the STU won? I’m not sure. How are we defining success here? If this is failure on my part, failure never felt so good and I want to fail again.
Round 2, one day later: 1 minute, 30 seconds.
At this point, I’m just starting to think this is absurd. I was really surprised. So many times when I read others’ claims about how good the STU was, I honestly just figured they either a.) were sexually inexperienced and didn’t know much beyond their own hand, or b.) probably hadn’t tried any other Fleshights or other sex toys to compare it to. As much as I try to be objective when starting one of these reviews, I really expected this article was going to amount to some sort of soft exposé on how the Stamina Training Unit was mostly a marketing gimmick—a good Fleshlight, but nothing extra special as far as Fleshlights go. But there I was, less than 90 seconds into my second round with the STU, surrendering powerlessly to the feel-good forcefulness of the Fleshlight Stamina Training Unit.
If a woman embodied a persona of the Fleshlight STU, I imagine her pushing me up against the wall with one hand, ripping down my pants with another, looking me in the eye and saying sternly, “you’re going to cum, right now”, and then pinning me down and making it happen. The STU is that relentless in its causing of pleasure. (That’s kind of a hot scenario now that I think about it. I’ll file that one away in my brain for later. And for our gay and bi-for-guys visitors, please feel free to steal that scenerio and switch it up to make it your own. There is a Fleshjack version of the STU with the same texture called the Endurance Jack.)
Round 3, next day: approx 2 minutes
At first, I thought that maybe my sub 60-second experience on my first try could be chalked up to the newness factor. Any new sexual experience or sensation, whether it’s with a partner or a new Fleshlight, can be a little extra exciting. But after maxing out at a little under 120 seconds for the third day in a row, I began to realize that I may have only given up 30 seconds to the novelty of the STU being new. Though, it is interesting to note that the sessions are getting a little longer each time. I’m thinking the STU is for real.
Usually, by the time I sit down to write the “how it feels” part of a review, I’ve probably accumulated at least an hour of quality time with a product over the course of several weeks. But with the Stamina Training Unit, I’m ready to talk about what it feels like after a grand total of four minutes and thirty seconds. Hey—that’s three orgasms in less than five minutes when you look at it all together.
Trying to describe what the Fleshlight STU feels like
Instead of a little bit of this and a little bit of that, the STU has one trick—one very effective stimulation approach—and it delivers it relentlessly until it wins. I’ve read some other reviewers report that they don’t really feel much detail of the texture of the STU until right before they’re about to have an orgasm. (That’s where you learn to control yourself, they say.) But my experience has been different. Start-to-finish, I feel the texture of the STU working more distinctly than I do with just about any other Fleshlight I’ve tried. Even the Vortex, with its crazy zig zags and squeezes, starts out as more of just a vague variance unless I really concentrate on trying to “find” the feeling of the texture. But with the STU, I often feel the sensation of each one of those raised bumps pressing down snuggly all around me, with the sensations being particularly strong at the sweet spots right below the head, but still evenly applying the feels all the way down and even on the sides. I also sometimes distinctly feel the bumps rolling over the contours of the corona (that’s the ridge at the back of the head of the penis, for those of you who’ve never really studied a diagram) and then coming into solid contact just below the head. You know those spots I’m talking about. Good stuff.
Another thing that I noticed on the third round that was a little different about the STU is that it feels so equally good on the up stroke (or out stroke) as it does on the down stroke. With PIV sex (penis-in-vagina), and even with most of the Fleshlight’s I’ve tried, to me, the inward/downward stroke always seems a little sweeter and more rich in sensation than the out/up stroke. But with the STU, the out-stroke is as invigorating as the in-stroke. I think that’s one of the things that is making these sessions go by so fast—building more credit towards an orgasm with every movement.
Pro tip: rotate it for a very different sensation
And speaking of sensational movements, the STU has a really cool thing in common with the Vortex. If you get either one of these someday, go all the way inside and then rotate the Fleshlight very, very slowly clockwise or counterclockwise. Feeling all the nubs circling your penis horizontally and continually in one direction is a completely different kind of sensation. Then, you can get even more variation by changing the direction, changing the speed, or alternating the direction back and forth. Not all Fleshlights or strokers feel especially exciting when you do this, but ones with texture variations that run vertically will do it and it’s amazing. I haven’t tried all the variations of that trick with the STU (so far, I’ve cum way before I would have even had a chance), but I rotated it for a few seconds, which was long enough to know that it feels special when you do that.
Fleshlight STU vs. Mini Lotus (round 4): 2 minutes, 30 seconds
I wanted to compare the STU to my favorite Fleshlight, the Mini Lotus. Of the 9 (and counting) models I’ve tried, the Mini Lotus and Flight Pilot are the two that I reach for regularly while the others are reserved for an occasional treat or get ignored. The Flight stays in regular rotation because it’s the quickest and easiest to dry, but the Mini Lotus is the go-to model the rest of the time because it gives me my favorite overall experience (more about why that is later in the comparison). The Mini Lotus is also the one that I recommend most often when I’m writing about Fleshlights. So, for me, it has become the gold standard against which I compare any other Fleshlight. (Maybe I should put the Mini Lotus in the gold case instead.) I also wanted to compare the STU and the Mini Lotus because the Mini Lotus is the one other Fleshlight that seems to be the most geared towards supporting optimum performance and enjoyment of partnered sex. Although total self indulgence and self spoiling is an absolute valid and good reason for masurbation (not to mention why the variety of Fleshlights are so wonderful), it’s also a routine activity that can either help or hinder our enjoyment of partnered sex. While the STU aims to help guys who have a real problem with stamina, the more natural and vagina-like sensation of the Mini Lotus can help guys who either have just a little bit of a stamina problem, or who have too much unwanted and uncontrolled stamina due to death grip.
Unsurprisingly, the STU and Mini Lotus feel on opposite ends of the spectrum. The STU is an enhanced and intense sensation, while the Mini Lotus is a natural and luxurious sensation. Whereas the STU says, “I’m going to make you cum as fast as possible”, the Mini Lotus says, “lay back and let me spoil you for a while…see how long I can keep you suspended in the glorious sweet zone before you can’t hold off”. With the STU, I’m often very conscious that it’s a Fleshlight because I feel the texture working on me—making me feel a level and type of stimulation that I just wouldn’t typically feel during PIV sex. I find myself looking down at the STU to see what is going on just because I can’t believe what I’m feeling. But with the Mini Lotus, I often find myself closing my eyes and letting my brain float off into a fantasy because it’s so easy to imagine it as ‘the real thing’. I’m all about the extra spice you can get from a Fleshlight, but the versatility of being able to lose yourself in a fantasy is pretty cool too.
STU vs Mini Lotus verdict: the STU delivers a higher volume of pleasure, but the Mini Lotus will remain my favorite
The STU is unbelievable, in a good way. I love it. Honestly, I’m getting a little hard thinking about what it feels like and I don’t see myself ever not having an STU on hand as long as I’ve got room to store it. But, as my official testing period for this article winds down, I’ll go back to the Mini Lotus as my regular and the STU will get stored in the box of extras that I reach for every now and then for an occasional treat or if I need a stamina refresher. And if I could only keep one, it’s still the Mini Lotus that you’d have to pry out of my cold dead hands.
Why? Because sometimes less is more.
I think that what Fleshlights improve most over jerking off is the “getting there” part of it all. When you jerk off with your hand, it feels pretty good, but it’s really just a quick and effective means of getting off quickly—you’re just working for the orgasm. Whereas the Mini Lotus draws out the “getting there” part of masturbation—extending and deepening the pleasure of the whole experience, making the work towards the orgasm feel as enjoyable and rewarding as the orgasm itself. If I’m going to go to the trouble of warming up a Fleshlight and doing the cleanup afterwards, I want to spend as much time as I can in a state of sustained pre-orgasmic bliss. I want to truly spoil myself and indulge in self-centered pleasure on my own timeline in a way that I don’t normally with my partner. The Mini Lotus facilitates exactly that kind of experience.
The STU, on the other hand, makes the “getting there” part of it feel so good that it’s all over and done with before I ever really get into it. It’s extremely impressive and oh my God it feels good, but it may be a case of too much of a good thing for me. Maybe if I did have a serious stamina problem this would be exactly the medicine I need, but in this average use case, I seem to be spending more time cleaning it than feeling it.
Subsequent uses and normalization
Eventually I did begin to acclimate to the new normal of the STU and now my ability to endure is a little closer to that of other Fleshlights and regular sex, but still shorter—averaging 3-4 minutes. There’s no edging with the STU—not for me, anyway. Your results may vary.
This brings me to the second reason why I’m reserving the STU for occasional indulgence: I don’t want to try to fix something that isn’t broken. In other words, I don’t want to end up having more stamina than I need. I only need to be able to last about as long as my partner at least 50% of the time that we have sex. I don’t want to get to the point where I’m lasting so long that my partner is getting bored waiting for me after her orgasm, nor do I want want to have trouble reaching an orgasm due to the intensity of the STU being the bar that I need to clear (in terms of stimulation volume) in order to get there. It would be different if I was having a stamina issue, but since I’m not, I’m going to play it safe.
Verdict: I think the STU lives up to the hype
Although I don’t have a legit stamina issue to test the STU against, based on the intensity of the sensations I’m feeling from the STU and how quickly I’m reaching orgasms when I use it, the STU certainly feels like it’s strong medicine made for a bad case of two-pump chumpmanship, not to mention a surprisingly good-feeling sex toy. As I wrote earlier, I really do think that I have routine usage of the Mini Lotus and Flight Pilot to thank for the amount of control that I have in bed as it is—I definitely did not have the same mastery before I started using sex toys more often than jerking off with my hand, and the STU, with its more pronounced sensations feels like is like a maximum dose of the same formula that helped me.
Stamina training theory—my bro science explanation of it
The idea behind this whole stamina training thing, and the way that I realized improvements just through use of the other Fleshlights, is basically to build up a tolerance to vagina-levels of sweetness through more routine “exposure” so that you aren’t so overwhelmed by the pleasure of partnered sex when it happens. Like anything else, it takes practice. However, if you’re going to practice on your own without performance pressure, you need something that feels more like a vagina or possibly even a bit more intense. Your hand just feels like your hand—it cannot match the softness, the silkiness, the suppleness, or the the satisfying feeling of being inside of a vagina (or whatever form of penetrative sex you’re engaging in). You need something that is basically engineered specifically to feel incredibly good—soft, silky, and gentle against and around your penis. Enter Fleshlights.
I’ve always thought of it like getting used to spicy foods. If Tobasco sauce brings you to your knees, power though a few doses of habanero sauce or pop some jalapenos every day for a week. Before too long, Tobasco won’t seem so spicy to you anymore and you can begin to actually appreciate the flavor of it. Sexual stamina training is like that, but with pleasure instead of pain. Trade in dry jerking off for maintenance masturbation that feels more like sex—or that feels even a little more lush, in the case of the STU, and before long you won’t be so overwhelmed by the feeling of sexual intercourse and you’ll be able to last longer and enjoy being in the moment instead of worrying that you’re going to cum too fast.
But is the STU the only Fleshlight that can help with stamina?
No, I believe that other Fleshlights can also help because routine usage of less intense Fleshlights really seemed to improve my enjoyment of partnered sex. At this point, 75-90% of the time I am able to last long enough to make my partner cum first during sex and I am then able to follow quickly—sometimes I’m even able to time it so that we cum together. And this is just from using a Mini Lotus and Flight Pilot regularly. This was not the case prior to discovering Fleshlights. It used to be that if even if I was able to last more than a couple of minutes during sex, I was only able to do so by mentally concentrating on really unsexy things like paying the water bill (true story), which really took me out of the moment—so much so that sometimes I would lose my erection. The worst though, was that time that I was both cumming too soon because I was overwhelmed by the physical pleasure, but also losing my erection because I was mentally trying to pay the water bill. That’s kinda messed up. So, all of this is why I believe the STU has genuine potential for those who have a serious stamina issue.
STU Design—possibly the least discreet Fleshlight ever
Can we talk about the gold for a minute? I’m not usually a fan of gold stuff. I’ve passed on places to live because there were too many tacky gold fixtures that made everything feel dated and cheap, so the fact that the STU is only available in a gold case has been a bit of a turnoff for me. But now that it’s sitting here in my bedroom—and maybe I’m just saying this because I’m still feeling all tingly and nice from using it—the STU case isn’t quite as funky looking in person as I thought it would be from the pictures online. The pink of the sleeve next to the gold case is still a strange pairing, but the case has a metallic richness that doesn’t really convey well in a lot of pictures on their website. (Though, I think I captured it nicely in our site’s pictures, if I do say so myself.) So, although it still wouldn’t be my first choice, it’s…growing on me. However, I still think Fleshlight needs to open up the case options for it because tacky or not-so-tacky, it jumps out at you. It is big, bright, and gold. Unless you’ve got a bunch of gold trophies and neck chains stacked around your place, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb in your closet, drawers, or wherever you hide it. It’s probably the least discreet Fleshlight you can buy.
Vagina or “happy hole”. Your choice, with the Fleshlight STU.
With the STU, you get a choice of two entries—the same classic generic vagina that comes standard on many of the other full-size Fleshlights, and the Pure entry, which what I like to call a happy hole. (For the Fleshjack variant, you can choose between butt cheeks and the Pure.) I can see the point of the Pure entry on the STU. I imagine that the Stamina Training Unit is a Fleshlight purchase that a lot of guys in relationships can rationalize or pitch to their partners under the guise of improving partnered sex. However, there are going to inevitably be some women who are going to want their vagina to be the only vagina in the house. For situations like that, the Pure offers up a solution. My partner thinks the more vaginas the merrier, so I bought yet another Fleshlight with a vagina entry that looks cloned from other three that I own. The gold case aside, it was deja vu. I’ve got an Ice with the Pure entry though and one cool thing is that you get into the texture just a little bit quicker—there’s a little less padding.
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