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The Fleshlight was designed by Steve Shubin, who was granted a patent in July 1998 for his invention, as a "device for discreet sperm collection" and it is marketed by Interactive Life Forms. It is named for the flesh-like material used in its inner sleeve, as well as the plastic case that houses the sleeve, which is fashioned to look like an oversized flashlight. The inner sleeve is available with a vulva, anus or mouth orifice, in colors representing a variety of ethnicities as well as see-through, and 48 different internal textures.

The Fleshlight Girls brand consists of masturbation sleeves molded from the bodies of female pornstars. A device called the Fleshjack is a spinoff marketed to gay men. The Fleshjack Boys brand consists of masturbation sleeves and dildos molded from the bodies of gay pornstars.