If you’re toying (unintentional pun) with the idea of upgrading from your right hand, there are two names to know if you haven’t heard them already—Fleshlight and Tenga. They’re the two biggest names in sex toys for dudes and they’re the most well-known for a reason—they design their products like they give a damn. They’re sort of like the Apple and Samsung of Men’s sex toys (respectively).
See also: Fleshlight Go vs. Fleshlight Flight
This Fleshlight vs. Tenga comparison really is a bit like the male sex toy version of the Apple iPhone vs. the Samsung Galaxy. We’re looking at two companies making not just similar products, but “ecosystems” of accessories. These products were designed for the same purpose, but take some slightly different approaches. Price-wise, they’re in the same ballpark, and at a glance it’s hard to imagine them being much different. But, spending some hands-on time with both of them reveals some definite differences—and preferences quickly emerge. Unlike smart phones though, you can’t just walk into a store and try them both out—thank God—so let this in-depth In Bed shootout be your guide to choosing between the best from Fleshlight and Tenga.
Originally, we were just going to compare the full-size Fleshlight to the Tenga Flip because those are the two main flagship products from both companies and because they were similar in price. But when we got to actually look at them in person, we began to think that the Tenga Flip had a lot in common with the more compact version of the Fleshlight called the “Flight”. So to make things interesting, we added the Flight into the mix to see how it holds up against Fleshlight’s own iconic original Fleshlight design, as well as the top competitor, the Tenga Flip Hole.
Ordering and Delivery
Highlights: All orders were delivered discreetly and without a hitch from both companies. The Fleshlight.com website is a little sexier, but Toy Demon’s Tenga inventory is enormous.
If you’ve read our main Fleshlight deep-dive article, you already know that our previous experience ordering direct from Fleshlight was great. Products arrived on time, without a hitch, and the packages and credit card statements were both discreet—marked only as “ILF” in Austin, TX. It was no different with this order. This was our fourth order from Fleshlight and we’re impressed by the consistency.
Tenga doesn’t sell direct, so we decided to order from a distributor called Toy Demon, which specializes in Japanese adult toys (Tengas are designed in Japan). Toy Demon seems to house one of the most complete lines of Tenga products on the internet, and that’s impressive given the variety of products that Tenga makes. The order through Toy Demon went off without any problem as well. We’ll probably be sourcing more Tenga items for review from Toy Demon in the future.
Also worth noting that you can get Tengas from Amazon (and yes, with Prime). Current price is about $65. I would stick with Fleshlight.com for Fleshlights though because I’ve read reports of Chinese-made knock-offs being passed off as Fleshlight-branded items on Amazon.
Design and Materials
Highlights: All three feel premium compared with many other toys for guys on the market, but the Fleshlight Flight stands out as the most well-engineered. The Tenga case feels a bit delicate in comparison. The Fleshlight sleeves are sensual and inviting, but the Tenga sleeve is clammy and smells funny.
The original Fleshlight has been around since the early 2000s, and over time, the company has refined it to the point of perfection. Fit and finish is hardly “toy-like”. It feels better engineered and more solid than many mainstream household products. Since it has been around since 2000 though, it’s definitely more recognizable and less discreet than the other two. It’s also bigger and heavier than the others. The mass makes it feel nice, but the size makes it harder to hide. And, just to be clear, nobody is going to mistake a Feshlight for being a flashlight. But, it’s still a premium product and it feels worthy of the price.
The most sensual sleeve material: Original Fleshlight
Likewise, the internal removable sleeve of the original Fleshlight feels completely luxurious to the touch—soft, silky, stretchy, and generous. (See the main Fleshlight review for more details on how the sleeves feel.) Even well-endowed guys shouldn’t run out of room in this thing, and that adds to the “more-than-you-would-ever-need” sense of luxury and abundance that comes with the original Fleshlight.
Tenga says no guarantee the Flip will last more than 50 uses. We believe it. No such disclaimer comes with the Fleshlights.
The plastic casing on the Tenga Flip, on the other hand, is a little less thick and more Flexible than the solid Fleshlight case. Whereas the Fleshlight case feels like it would be hard to break, the Tenga Flip’s plastic housing feels like it would crack if it fell on a tile floor or if you sat on it. And then there’s the little clip that holds the two halves together and doubles as the drying stand—it’s quite bendy and definitely won’t take much abuse. The product description for the Tenga Flip says it’s designed for only 50 uses, and we believe it. The Fleshlights have no such disclaimer. Take care of them, and they should last a long time.
Inside the Tenga feels clammy to the touch and leaves your finger smelling funny.
The internal (non-removable) sleeve material of the Tenga Flip feels clammy and sticky to the touch compared to both the Fleshlights. When felt with fingers, the Fleshlight sleeves feel sensual and inviting, but the Tenga material feels more industrial. And the Tenga gel material smells industrial too—it has a fairly strong chemical smell that clings to your hands after handling it. It’s not a biting, dangerous type of smell, but it constantly reminds you that you’re messing with a large wad of plastic gel, and that can be kind of distracting when you’re trying to lose yourself in fantasy. The Fleshlights don’t have much of a noticeable smell at all
The compact Fleshlight Flight (Pilot) is just great design—by any standards, not just sex toy standards.
The Fleshlight Flight is more discreet, compact, and affordable than both the full-size Fleshight and the Tenga Flip, yet it somehow feels even more solid and well-engineered than the original Fleshlight. Something about the thickness of the plastic case, the way the caps go on so solidly, and the little design details just feel really nice. The case is less recognizable than the original Fleshlight, which is appreciated, and the design is modern. If keeping your sex toy on the down-low is a priority, such as if you have roommates or nosy family around, this is the Fleshlight for you.
Likewise, the compact Fleshlight Flight is a really good choice for incorporating into partner play. The light weight and size make it easy for a partner to wield it, and the nondescript entry design might be a little more socially comfortable than the big pink artificial vagina design of the original Fleshlight.
The Tenga entry looks like a catfish’s mouth. Fleshlight Flight looks inviting. The original Fleshlight…is definitely not subtle.
The luxuriousness of the Flight’s sleeve is just a point or two less than that of the original Fleshlight, but it still feels miles ahead of the Tenga’s sleeve. Like the Tenga Flip, the Pilot features a non-descript entry rather than the anatomically correct original Fleshlight—another point for being discreet, but the entry on the Pilot is much more inviting than the Tenga. The plump padding says, “I feel good”, whereas the Tenga Flip entry looks a little like a catfish’s mouth—not so sensual.
Highlights: The big Fleshlight is practically silent when the cap is halfway on, and the Flight is muted, but the Tenga makes some awful, unsexy slurping, burping, and farting sounds.
We really imagined that the Tenga’s flip-hinge design would give it all sorts of advantages over the Fleshlights. When it came to actually using it though, some of these advantages ended up working against it. Although the ability to open it completely allowed for easy lubrication and cleanup (more about cleanup further down), the sliding clasp that held the two halves closed wasn’t consistently easy to slide on and off. You have to line it up precisely in order for it to slide on and clasp the unit together, and four times out of five, it would slip off—not a fun exercise when you’re horny and need to get off. There was no such annoyance with either of the Fleshlights—just twist off the top, drop in a bit of lube, and enjoy.
The Tenga made unsexy slurping and farting sounds. No bueno, mi amigos. No bueno.
A far bigger offense of the Tenga, however, was the sounds that happened during use. They ranged from the dreaded “stirring mac and cheese” sticky sound to straight-up fart sounds. I don’t know if this happens for everyone or if there’s something about my anatomy that makes it happen, but for whatever reason it happens, it really took me out of my zone. In doing some research on other peoples’ experiences with the Tenga Flip, I should point out that some guys actually like the sounds. But, for me personally, it’s a turn-off. This didn’t happen with either of the Fleshlights. With the end cap halfway on, the full-size Fleshlight was practically silent, and the Fleshlight Flight was very quiet—only the sound of air passing in and out could be heard when it did make a sound. A quiet sex toy is one that you’ll feel comfortable using more often.
And then there’s a durability concern with the Tenga. The Tenga Flip has three “buttons” on the top and bottom that can supposedly be used to moderate suction and enhance the sensation. (I didn’t find that functionality to be that effective or stimulating, by the way.) After the fourth test run with the Tenga, it developed a small tear around the top button. It didn’t really affect the sensation or the usability, but it doesn’t bode well for the longevity of the Tenga Flip.
Both the full-size Fleshlight and the Fleshlight Flight were as good as new after five test-runs each, which is consistent with our previous deep-dive test of the Fleshlight.
Sensations—what counts the most
Highlights: The Fleshlight Wonder Wave was breath-taking, and the Fleshlight Flight was pleasantly tight and focused, but I kept reverting to my hand with the Tenga Flip Black.
I had been looking at the Tenga Flip Hole Black for a while before ordering it, and my expectations were high. After experiencing a couple of different Fleshlights, I had learned that the more interesting textures usually resulted in more interesting and exciting new sensations. The Tenga Flip Black texture looks so varied and exciting that I expected it to be a real thrill-ride. I mean, it looks wild, and I expected it to feel wild. But instead, I was completely surprised to find it the opposite.
The inside of the Tenga looks like it would feel amazing, but it’s surprisingly vague.
There was so much different stuff going on inside the Tenga Flip Hole Black that it just felt like noise. I can only describe it as an unfocused mess. I could never really hook up to a particular sensation. I tried it five times and out of those times I was only able to get off with it once, and that was after about a week without masturbation or sex. Three other times I switched back to my hand, and once, I switched over to the Fleshlight Flight. I was truly surprised. Maybe if I had never felt a Fleshlight or actual sex, the Tenga would have felt better to me, but it just didn’t do much for me.
Update: Since writing this review I’ve read in several places that the Tanga Flip Hole White (I tried the black) is a different experience—that the material is softer and that it just feels nicer. I plan to redo this comparison again but with a lineup that includes the Tenga Fliphole White.
Update #2: Over the past couple of years I’ve tried the Fleshlight Black a few more times out of convenience (the quick cleaning and drying that you’ll read about below) and curiosity over whether or not I’d feel differently about it over time. I still stand by my overall impression of it being a little too busy, firm, and artificial compared to Fleshlights, however, I was able to tune into the sensation and enjoy it a bit more than I did when I was doing the original review. So, although if I could only keep a Fleshlight or Tenga I’d still keep a Fleshlight, since I’m not faced with that decision, the Tenga has remained interesting and effective enough that I haven’t tossed it out.
The inside of the Fleshlight Wonder Wave looks simple, but sometimes less is more.
The Fleshlight Wonder Wave, on the other hand, was relentless pleasure beyond anything I could experience with my hand. Again, based on the simplicity of the design compared to the Tenga, I was surprised by how good it felt—it was wonderful. I had a hard time making it last as long as I wanted. I wanted the sessions with the Wonder Wave to last for at least 30 minutes, but it felt so good that it was a challenge to keep it going longer than ten minutes. Moving it very, very slowly was breathtaking. For a more detailed account of what the full-size Fleshlight Wonder Wave feels like, check out our deep-dive Fleshlight review.
The Fleshlight Flight—just about as good as the regular Fleshlight, just more compact.
The Fleshlight Flight was also great—a little tighter and a little more focused than the Wonder Wave, but not quite as luxurious. The texture looks a little on the wild side compared to the Wonder Wave, but it actually felt a little more mild than the Wonder Wave. (Perhaps this is all a lesson in “less is more”?) The full-size Fleshlight felt subtly more silky than the Flight, but considering the compact discreetness of the Fleshlight Flight, the trade-off is perfectly acceptable and a small one at that. And on the positive side, I was able to make the “getting there” last longer with the Fleshlight Flight than I could with the full-size Fleshlight Wonder Wave.
Cleanup and Care
Highlights: When it comes to cleanup, the Tenga Flip’s drying stand and ability to open up makes it shine. The full-size Fleshlight, on the other hand, takes forever to dry. The Flight—a little quicker.
As we discovered while conducting the Fleshlight deep-dive review, the only real drawback to the Fleshlight is not so much the cleaning as it is the drying. Although it’s really only an issue if discreetness is a factor—such as if you have roommates etc., the fact that the sleeve insert has to sit out for anywhere from an hour to a full day, depending on the humidity and temperature, means that you’re going to have to be careful about when and where you choose to use it. Unless, of course, you’re prepared to have to have an awkward conversation if someone happens upon it.
Score another point for the Fleshlight Flight when it comes to being discreet. At roughly half the size of the full-size Fleshlight, it dries out more quickly than the big Fleshlight. You’ll only have to leave it sitting out to dry for about about half the time as the full-size Fleshlight.
But, the winner in this category is easily the Tenga Flip. The Flip gets its name from the fact that you can “flip” it open completely for cleaning and leave it sitting open on a stand for fast drying. It’s as if Tenga was gunning for the Fleshlight’s weak spot and, exclusively in regards to cleanup, it hits the target. In testing all three of these, it was a relief to be able to get the Tenga put away completely dry well before friends came over. If that’s your ultimate priority, this is the way to go.
Conclusion: Fleshlight keeps its crown
The whole point of sex toys is their ability to allow people to discover their body’s full potential to experience pleasure, and the Fleshlights do exactly that.
If the Tenga Flip simply could have kept my attention during use and didn’t make farting sounds, its ability to dry fast after cleaning would have probably made it the winner. I had high expectations and actually expected it to win—or at least do better in this comparison. But the whole reason sex toys are appealing in the first place is their ability to allow people to discover their body’s full potential to experience pleasure, and the Fleshlights do exactly that and then some. The drying time of the Fleshlights is worth dealing with for the sake of the pleasures you can discover and the overall quality of the product. If an uncompromising and luxurious sensation is what you’re after, and being super-secret about your sex toy isn’t a priority, the full size original Fleshlight with just about any of the textures is what you want. If you need something more compact and more discreet (or more affordable), the $49 Fleshlight Flight Pilot is a very, very close second.
Think I’m biased against Tenga?
See also: How much I love Tenga Eggs