Have you ever been scared and horny at the same time? That’s how I felt looking at The Thruster, a handheld thrusting dildo.
Yes, as the name implies, this dildo does the thrusting for you.
The Thruster is a less expensive, more petite take on “fucking machines” like the Cowgirl Machine, which can run you $2,000.
Velvet Thruster cofounders and couple Danyell and Alex Fima began the company in 2017 after working at Boeing, Airbus, and NASA as aerospace engineers. (Yes. That’s right.) The work was stressful and carried major liabilities, they explain in Velvet Thruster’s about page so they channeled their passion and expertise in advanced engineering into… what else? Sex toys.
The company’s goal, according to Danyell Fima, was to replace those bulky, ultra-pricey handheld toys. In previous decades, smaller batteries weren’t powerful enough to make it happen. Now, the technology is there.
That being said, these self-pumping dildos aren’t cheap: The most affordable option, the Thruster Mini (“Teddy”), retails at $166, while the Thruster Prime will run you $234 before any additional add-ons.
There are fucking machines cheaper than the Thruster on the market (for instance, this jackhammer-looking thing on Amazon), but the Thruster is hand-controllable and more compact, thus easier to store.
The Thruster and its website look intimidating at first glance, the latter due to the many customization options for the Prime. Choose from four colors (lilac, mint, black, and red), and, in the case of the Prime, different head styles ranging from standard dildos to heads made specifically for the G-spot or prostate. Each head has its own page — such as the Walter for anal penetration — to help you decide.
The nitty-gritty on the Thruster
The Prime has an insertable length of seven inches and a total length of 11. I’m not a complete dildo novice, but I am certainly a sex machine novice, so I figured the Prime would be a bit much for me.
Instead, I tried two of Thruster’s other offerings: Teddy and Teddy XL ($182). These are both smaller than the Prime: Teddy is the company’s smallest at an insertable length of five inches and extending to nine in total. For Teddy XL, it’s six inches and 10 inches respectively.
The thrusters are made of platinum-cured, body-safe silicone. The Teddy models have realistic dildo attachments, and while the lengths are different, the circumferences are the same, at 4.5 inches in the middle of the shaft.
The bottom of the toy has an accordion-like structure that extends and retracts the toy to create the thrusting motion. Both Teddys have 2.5 inches of vibrating thrust (it extends and retracts 2.5 inches when thrusting), according to Thruster, and six adjustable speeds. They differ slightly in that the Teddy speeds up to 125 strokes per minute, while Teddy XL speeds up to 128 strokes per minute. For comparison, the average dick owner thrusts 48 times per minute.
All Thrusters are cordless and come with their own chargers. You can use Teddy for up to two hours of battery life, and 2.5 hours with the Teddy XL. They can also be used while charging, but I recommend waiting for a wireless experience.
What using the Thruster is like
Many dildos are made of body-safe silicone, but there was something special about the Thrusters. The top of the shaft is bendable while the bottom half is sturdy, probably due to the motor. While the dildo doesn’t feel exactly like skin — how can it? And would you even want it to? — it’s soft, fitting the “velvet” in the company’s name.
The part-bendable, part-stiff dildo of the Teddys made maneuvering and inserting easier than with a standard dildo (though, as with all sex toys, I recommend using lots of lube). The Thruster comes with three standard buttons: on/off, plus, and minus to increase/decrease the speed; they’re big and easy to handle when using the Thruster.
Watching the Thruster in action is pretty remarkable. I noticed that after a few minutes and at higher speeds, the accordion pumps out air and sounds like a queef. Not a bad thing, but it did make me laugh.
The sensations weren’t dissimilar from penetration from a strap-on, only this time I was alone and controlling the speed of the thrusts myself.
I found the Teddys easy to use when lying down — and especially less rigorous than using a standard dildo because the thruster does the work for me — but if you don’t want to reach that far, Thruster offers a long-reach handle for solo play and a partner play handle for use in couples. The Teddys have a suction-cup base, which is also clutch for hands-free, doggy-style thrusting as you can stick it on your wall (or your floor, or any hard surface).
Thruster claims these toys will help achieve vaginal orgasms. I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing a vaginal orgasm, but along with clit stimulation these toys led to some stellar masturbation sessions.
“Vaginal orgasms aren’t the easiest to achieve considering a perfect amount of repetitive stroking, rubbing, and rhythm is needed,” Fima noted. While people with penises or strap-ons may not have the stamina for their partner to reach a vaginal orgasm, Thrusters can go for hours.
Needless to say, I’ll keep experimenting.
Thruster aftercare and logistics
These toys are water-resistant, meaning that they can’t be submerged in water, but they can be washed without having to worry about destroying them. This makes cleaning the dildos much easier.
Since the bottom of the Thrusters has “accordion” grooves (seen in the photos), Velvet Thruster created a way to easily turn the toy off when extended in order to clean them: While the toy is in use, press the on/off button twice within three seconds. The thruster will stop with the accordion extended and can be thoroughly washed.
A downside to the Thrusters is that they don’t come with a travel pouch or case. According to the website, the cardboard box it comes in acts as storage. A cardboard box doesn’t strike me as the best place to keep a dildo, but it’s not the end of the world.
The toy comes with a one-sheeter that teaches the user how to charge and clean the toy, but I wish there were a bit more details about the mechanics. I had to find the charge time (two hours for Teddy and 2.5 for Teddy XL), for example, on the Thrusters website.
None of these snags are terrible and they don’t disrupt my enjoyment of the toys, but they stuck out to me. There’s always room for improvement.
Is the Thruster worth the price?
The Thruster is by no means a beginner toy, or even a beginner dildo. If you want to explore penetrative toys, I’d recommend starting out with a stationary dildo (many of which come with suction-cup ends as well).
I also wouldn’t recommend the Thruster to novice users or to users that prefer clitoral stimulation over vaginal or anal stimulation.
For experienced dildo users who love penetration, however, the Thruster may be perfect for you, if it’s in your price range. The self-thrusting action is a marvel, and for those who want powerful movements without having to put in any effort yourself, you can’t go wrong with this.
I had the most fun with the smallest Thruster, the Teddy, because the size worked the best for me. It also happens to be under $200.
The Thruster gives you the power of a sex machine in your hand. If that sounds scary, this isn’t for you! If it’s enticing, however, I’d highly consider purchasing one.