Exploring Sex Toys for Men
I don’t think we really allow men to really explore their sexuality. When they do they are seen as “icky” to an extent, in turn male sex toys are seen as “icky.” I wonder if guys themselves afraid of sex toys. A majority of men’s sex toys are made to stimulate the prostate, anal toys. In our culture it seems exploring anal stimulation sparks homophobia. I think the new homophobia is a more personally directed fear. As LGBTQ becomes mainstream, so does the awareness that gay-bashing is not okay. So instead of “you are a fag” it becomes, “Well its okay for you, but I’M not gay.” It becomes this paranoia about your own sexuality.
But beyond guys being scared, are we scared of guys that use sex toys? It’s a weird double standard. There is such a friendly attitude toward vibrators but with male masturbation-sleeves it’s a resounding “ewww”. The only legitimate “ew” issue with sleeves is clean-up but you can buy ones that are easier to clean. Fleshlights are easy to clean, there are sleeves you can boil. So that argument really doesn’t stand up for me.
With sleeves it sometimes seems like we are seeing the toy as a disembodied vagina and that is what makes it weird or gross. And I don’t think that we think of dildos this way, so I’ve got to wonder why. I think maybe it’s because we objectify women. We put value on a woman’s body, on her looks. In porn, all we see are disembodied penises, we don’t care about ogling the whole man or putting him on a pedestal. A dildo is a toy.
I think “sleeves are icky” is a result of the male version of the madonna/whore dichotomy. Either you are a good, nice guy or you are mechanical, you want a hole to fuck. And guys who use sleeves get painted with the “hole to fuck” stereotype.
A new study came out about vibrator use and men by Michael Reese and Debra Herbenik. This was a follow-up to their study last year which found that 45% of men reported having used a vibrator. This time they studied gay and bi men and dug into how they use vibrators and when. The vast majority was anal use. Most of guys agreed that vibrators increased arousal, pleasure, and orgasm, but they didn’t strongly agree with these statements.
A post on About.com noted that last part was interesting Because, according to the author so often people talk about sex toys as this life altering experience that will solve all of your problems and that’s really not what it is.
It’s hard to justify the price of sex toys. How many times do you really use it? But I think it should be looked at as entertainment. As an experience. Not this sex-life changing thing. And it’s an experience that I think men, like everyone, should be able to freely explore.