Tenga and other Japanese male masturbation tools are taking over the world, one synthetic vagina at a time
The days when the sex industry believed only women were in desperate need of self-pleasuring aids appear to be long gone.
Nowadays, when one walks into a sex shop, aisles offering male masturbation tools are just as bountiful as those catering to women.
At least in Japan.
Seven years after Koichi Matsumoto left his car salesmen job to start “something that hasn’t been done before” and launched Tenga “New Adult Concept,” his company has sold over 15 million male masturbation units worldwide.
Simply put, Tenga has cornered the global market on male masturbation, shattering conventional wisdom that men are perfectly content to do it without artificial help along the way.
To paraphrase Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Blink”: People don’t really know what they want when the thing they want doesn’t yet exist.
Like artificial vaginas, for example.
According to Matsumoto, his big idea came to him after he walked into a sex shop and realized that the available products for men severely lagged behind toys for women.
He explains his epiphany on the Tenga website:
“There were so many improvements I could think to make. There is the possibility here to create something revolutionary. This is the moment when I decided to commit myself. Now that I go back and think about it, it all happened in a matter of 15 minutes or so. This is the beginning of TENGA.”
When he launched his first prototype in 2005 — with the bold but prescient motto “The future of masturbation is now” — Tenga became an almost overnight sensation in Japan.
Tenga sold over 1 million units its first year, but Matsumoto didn’t stop there. Today, Tenga customers can choose from a popular line of disposable masturbation products with colorful names like Tenga Onacups, Deep Throat Cup, Soft Tube Cup and Double Hole Cup, among others.
The one product that has made Tenga a household name in may countries around the world, however, is the Tenga Egg. Debuting in 2008, Tenga has sold approximately 6.5 million of the egg-shaped disposable masturbators.
But Tenga is hardly alone in the Japanese market.
So far, male masturbation devices are selling mostly in the developed world.
But Tenga is already targeting other lucrative markets, especially China.
And with good reason.
If there is anything like the ideal customer for Tenga, he must live in a nation of 600 million men, where there are not enough women to go around.
More Related Stories
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
- Kicked out of the mall -- for an anti-cancer hat
- Why do men pretend to be women online?
- Pa. governor "can't find" any Latinos to work in his administration
- Conservative group blames military sexual assault on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal
- Is Pittsburgh the next Portland?
- Tornado survivor to Wolf Blitzer: Sorry, I'm an atheist. I don't have to thank the Lord
- Donald Rumsfeld worried that marriage equality will lead to polygamy
- San Francisco Giant Jeremy Affeldt apologizes for homophobic past
- Wall Street firm's "Golden Pitchbook" is totally sexist, full of lies
- Federal court strikes down Arizona abortion ban
- I'm not achieving my dreams!
- The most popular Tumblr porn
- Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
- Snapchat is secretly storing your photos
- Peace Corps to allow gay couples to volunteer together
- Facebook's hate speech problem
- Rand Paul: Congress should apologize to Apple, not the other way around
- When my home was destroyed
- Okla. mother's tearful reunion with her 8-year-old son
- New campaign compares gun control to anti-LGBT discrimination
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
Salon is proud to feature content from GlobalPost, an awarding-winning international news site that focuses on original reporting from journalists stationed around the world. GlobalPost combines traditional journalistic values with the power of new media to offer a fresh perspective on global developments.