Sex machines have not yet had their renaissance. Sex toys, sure. From animal tail buttplugs to couples vibrators, even toys that spurt “alien” eggs inside you, we’ve come a long way from the rabbit vibe made big by Sex and the City. But sex machines remain mostly the purview of loner inventors, cobbling the pieces from power tools and flesh colored dildos. Even ones you can purchase look legitimately like something you would find in a dungeon. And not the fun, sexy kind of dungeon.
Alicia Sinclair, the sex expert behind the b-Vibe and Le Wand, created The Cowgirl because there hasn’t yet been a sex machine made with a real woman in mind. Three years in the making, The Cowgirl is unique in form and function. Rather than looking like a surgical device like so many sex machines, it’s shaped like a saddle atop a doctor’s bag (fitting, considering the pivotal role doctors played in the invention of the modern vibrator). It’s designed for women to ride and grind without feeling objectified or plain creeped out by a scary device.
“The power and position of the machine allows the rider to experience incredible full body orgasms while sitting in an empowered position otherwise unachievable with other smaller vibrators,” says Sinclair.
Most sex machines are just a penetration machine with a dildo stuck on the end like a corndog. Some you can swap out for a fleshlight. The point is, they’re not sexy. They’re also usually, but not always, made by men. They don’t emphasize comfort or the clitoris, two things most women require for good sex.
In the book Sex Machines, inventor Rick Van Thiel bragged that he made “the ultimate sex machine.” “My machine will make more women come faster and hard, and just get them off better than anyone else’s machines, no question.”
His wife, however, did not like the machine.
The (mostly) men who have built these machines haven’t designed them for women’s pleasure so much as their own egos. And based on the mistaken belief that the harder you jackhammer a woman, the more she’ll climax.
Sinclair built The Cowgirl as a “luxurious machine that embodies female empowered sexuality, decadent self-pleasure and, of course, kink. I also wanted all the design, marketing, and tutorials to be created by women, for women.”
The Cowgirl is more than a skewered dildo operated by a drill saw (another terrifying example in Sex Machines). You sit on it like a horse and ride and grind away, just like you did on the living room ottoman when you were younger and nobody was around. The silicone piece atop the “saddle” (cushioned with vegan leather to keep your knees comfortable while you squirm) has a replaceable attachment for penetration but the focus is stimulating the entire vulva, not just the vagina.
The motor vibrates at 1200 rpm, roughly the speed of a drying machine. While at The Cowgirl’s launch at New York City’s Museum of Sex, I tried operating it (alas, with all my clothes on and not riding it) and its highest setting nearly vibrated my hand off. But even with no vibration, the silicone piece has bumps that can stimulate you just by grinding yourself on them.
Like most sex toys, you can use The Cowgirl solo or with a partner. As Sinclair mentioned, it’s a great kink prop. It’s ideal for forced orgasms or edging (bringing you or your partner to the brink then stopping before they cum). You can be in control or hand over control to a partner anywhere in the world with the machine’s app. Or you can use it in front of the mirror, to admire yourself while you get off.
While its $2,000 price tag puts The Cowgirl out of range for most, it’s a good first step for this under-appreciated part of the sex toy industry. Say goodbye to the scary sex machines of yore.