Q: Any recommendations on good sex toys for men who’ve never really used them before?
A: The first thing we can recommend is that vibrators aren’t just for vulvas anymore – in fact, even many of the ones made for lady-part stimulation can work just as well on boy-parts, given a little creativity and/or willingness to apply something pink, sparkly, or festooned with bas-relief hearts to your junk. Anyone who’s ever stood up against an off-balance washing machine or pushed a lawnmower with the handle just below waist level can tell you that pretty much anything vibratey feels pretty pleasant in that region no matter what you’re packing down there, but a good starting point would be to find something small and inexpensive (like a bullet vibe) just to try out what kinds of sensations feel good and where, and go from there to look into more specialized models that can deliver exactly what you’re looking for.
In fact, some toys may be able to do double-duty. Any casual sex store shopper may have noticed that some of the G-spot vibrators for women look an awful lot like some of the simpler prostate massagers. Either one of these can be used as a vibrator or for anal stimulation, which can intensify orgasms and everything leading up to them, or just be enjoyed on its own depending on what you find you like best. However, you want to be careful with toys you stick up your butt for two reasons. Toys like butt plugs (which we’ll get to shortly) have flared bases or larger handles in order to make sure that the muscles of your sphincter don’t pull them all the way in, and these slim vibrators don’t have that, so you’ll want to keep a good grip on it. Secondly, you want to keep hygiene in mind and know the material of your toy; many of these vibrators are made from hard plastic, which is easy to clean, but if you get one made from a porous material that may absorb bacteria, you’ll definitely want to keep that in mind, and we’d suggest putting a condom over it when using it anally. Paperispatient tends towards the clean freak end of the spectrum, so we personally use condoms on anything that comes in contact with one of our bums.
As for other stuff you can cram up there, butt plugs come highly recommended if you want something you can just leave in and have both hands free for more pressing matters. As mentioned above, they tend to have wide handles or bases that allow for hands-free enhancement of your sexual experience. (Or really, whatever you want to do – some guys like to just leave them in as they go about their daily chores and errands for an added spring in their step.) There’s a wide array of shapes, sizes, and materials from which to choose, from relatively slim models that directly target your most sensitive spots, to cannon-shell sized behemoths that are referred to as “absurdly oversized” right there in the product description, to a plug that is plated in 18-karat-fucking-gold and comes with a fucking matching set of cufflinks.
As for the man who prefers putting himself in things instead of things in himself, plenty of options are available in the form of sleeves, which is the nice name for what are more commonly known as pocket pussies. And not just pussies – they come in all kinds of shapes, including asses, mouths, nondescript slits, and goddamn vampires. Although Fleshlight is the best-known and by far most punchline-prone brand out there (which, considering the Avatar-knockoff and vagina-in-a-beer-can models currently available, they brought on themselves), there are plenty of perfectly serviceable varieties at much more reasonable costs. Many can be found at your local sex shop in the $20-$30 range, and it’s a good general rule to err on the side of frugality with any toy you’re not 100% certain you’ll enjoy – you don’t want to waste upwards of eighty bucks on a synthetic vagina that’s only marginally more stimulating than your own lubed-up hand. Speaking of which, make sure you know the toy’s material before lubing it up; many sleeves are made from silicone composites, and you shouldn’t use a silicone lube with them. (For some reason, silicone melts silicone. We don’t know why, we’re not fucking chemists here, but probably for the same reason chunks of Superman’s own planet can kill him. Water-based lube is fine, by the way.) Toys like this should be cleaned thoroughly and dried well to make sure they stay as bacteria-free and fun for as long as possible.
It’s certainly worth noting that you don’t need to be flying solo to enjoy these; they can be a fun part of partner sex as well. Just as vibrators are not necessarily a dick replacement but can also be a dick teammate (quoth The Oh in Ohio‘s Coach Popovitch), the same can be said of sleeves and real live vaginas. A creatively-inclined couple who find themselves with an extra pussy or mouth could find all sorts of enjoyable things to do with it.
One final toy that is suited to partner sex is the cock ring, to which we’ve devoted an entire post with information about sizing, materials, special features, and proper usage. As noted in said post, they can be useful for prolonging erections but also for increasing sensation and providing some special stimulation for your partner as well.
Got a question you’d like us to discuss? You can e-mail us at FriskyFeminist@persephonemagazine.com, and we’ve also set up a Tumblr for the sole purpose of receiving completely anonymous questions at paperispatientsexqanda.tumblr.com.