Something In The Air
The erotic appeal of inflatable toys

Has this ever happened to you? You're walking through Toys "R" Us, and you catch the furtive come-hither stare of a dolphin pool toy. You try to ignore it, but this inflatable ingenue is asking for it in a big way.

See also...
... by Steve Robles
... in the Crave section
... from September 20, 1999

So you slap down the ol' MasterCard and take Flipper home, thinking the whole way of how you're going to rock its little plastic world. A little bubbly, some oral as you breathe life into its smooth, aerodynamic form, and next thing you da bing!

Well, me neither, but since reading about my sex life is slightly less interesting (not to mention erotic) than a Facts Of Life rerun, let's talk about this most curious practice of inflat-o-philia, shall we? As if you needed further proof that guys (and some gamy gals) will pretty much hump anything that doesn't hump them first, along comes this fun, inexpensive alternative to the simultaneously dreaded and coveted love doll.

Certainly in the less enlightened and connected cultures of decades past, inflat-o-philes had to hide their shame, some never daring to admit to others their affinity for giant inflatable zebras or the excitement elicited from popping a balloon. But thanks to the Internet, those days are gone forever. Fringe elements previously marginalized and isolated from their strange comrades can now commune without fear of rebuke, and inflat-o-philes are no exception.

Web sites for these everyday joes and janes who just like to "boink" (their term for "getting intimate") their faux-mammalian friends range from the relatively tame (the Inflatable Animal Fetish Page opens with the disclaimer "THIS IS NOT A PORN SITE" and warns visitors of its dearth of both erotic text and images) to the explicit (Boys And Their Pool Toys offers glimpses of full-on penetration betwixt hunky studs and the toys that, um, love them).

Just getting started? Well, that's no problem!

#Pooltoys provides reviews of various vinyl pool paraphernalia and can even connect you with like-minded folks through its Java chat channel. IAFP goes the extra mile and explains what's involved in boinking that six-foot Godzilla that's got you hotter'n Georgia asphalt: you can try frottage, where you rub an erogenous zone against your favorite aquatic blow-up until the desired affect is achieved. Repeat if necessary.

Then there's "The Inverted Tail Method," which can be done with any inflatable animal that has a tail. You simply push the tail up into the body of the, say, killer whale, creating a proper indentation for what is assumed to be male genitalia.

IAFP recommends you use a little lube to facilitate the process.

"I've always liked inflatables since I was a kid," explains Rev. Xydexx Squeakypony. "I didn't get sexually involved with them until I was about 14."

Squeakypony wants to make one thing clear, lest there be any misunderstandings. "I boink inflatable animals because I have a fetish for them, not because I'm desperate," he maintains. "Having a fetish for inflatable animals doesn't mean that's my only sexual outlet. I like having sex. (Who doesn't?) Whether I'm boinking a person or inflatable zebra doesn't make it any less enjoyable."

Although offers couples an excellent resource in mutual air-filled fun, female inflat-o-philes don't seem to get off on pool toys too much, opting instead for simpler balloons. Balloon Bustin' Fantasy is chock full of pix of lascivious lasses and their latex.

They've even caught on film the slit-slickening moment of truth these gals thrive on -­ the moment of "pop!" when the gas-filled orb explodes. Papa Ball's Breakable Inflatables explains the fascination with popping and throws in a couple o' GIFs to boot. Not all inflat-o-philes like to pop their inflatables, though -­ some regard them with respect and consider such an act to be violent and upsetting. I swear I'm not making this shit up.

So the next time you're in a toy store and someone looks a little too excited about that inflatable pony, you'll know why.


Dope addict Steve Robles often channels the ghosts of Bukowski and Lester Bangs for "inspiration." His work has appeared in Odyssey and UnReal People.