Sex

A Beginner’s Guide to Male Sex Toys

Sex toys for men are seeing a global increase in demand post the pandemic. Here’s all you need to know about picking the right ones.
January 13, 2021, 11:08am
man in a parking lot with a sex doll
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

It doesn’t take much to arouse men, and it takes even less to make us cum. Once puberty hits, most boys learn and enjoy the simple trick of engorging their members by yanking vociferously at them till the eventual mysterious solution oozes out, leaving their pillows or socks soaked and starchy. The concept of using sex toys is alien to most men. In fact, all the world’s a sex toy (only euphemistically speaking, of course) if you’re willing to shove your dick in it, given how many men love to fashion homemade sex toys. Although these toys might take you to your destination, the journey to getting there is often not as smooth sailing

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But times are changing. The pandemic made people stockpile on sex toys amongst other essentials—which should be unsurprising given the 2020 kibosh on sex, especially with strangers. While the connotation associated with men using sex toys was once limited to sad sex substitutes for creepy and desperate men, the historically limited world of male sex toys has come into a renaissance of design, quality, and diversity, fueling rapid growth from a changing demographic of men, and shaking off much of their old stigma. While shifting attitudes, better materials, and positive portrayals (like the Rabbit vibrator on Sex and the City) brought female toys into the mainstream around the millennium, male sex toys have started to see rapid innovation only more recently.

“Men are still learning about sex toys, their benefits and how to use them,” says Samir Saraiya, an e-commerce entrepreneur and founder of adult toys portal thatspersonal.com, Saraiya has noticed a steady increase in the online purchase of male sex toys during the lockdown in 2020. As his company’s research around sexual habits in India shows, we are a kinky bunch of people. But the taboo persists, which means most men prefer buying these toys online where it offers their purchases more discretion.

Many of my straight male friends think of sex toys as only dildos and vibrators—something women need when dicks can’t do the job. A couple of them know what cock rings are, but most of them are curious and yet unaware that there’s an entire gamut of sex toys which men, both straight and queer, can enjoy safely. But now, it’s time to learn how to grab life by the balls, literally. 

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Male sex toys can essentially be broken down into five major categories, depending on how much you’re willing to expend and how you wish to stimulate your genitalia.

Masturbators

Like the name makes it clear, these are essentially masturbating aids you use in place of getting plain-old handsy. Fleshlight is a brand that has become almost synonymous with masturbators. They are long and cylindrical in shape and the base can either be designed as a vaginal, anal or a mouth opening so you can put your penis in there and go to town (beating it to the tune of Stayin’ Alive by Bee Gees helps). The Fleshlight is an artifact of the sexually adventurous, technologically innovative 90s, but it's become the face—and lips, and anus, and lips—of the male sex toy industry. The fact that a disembodied vulva and vaginal canal to jerk off into exists in an era of #MeToo and grabbed pussies, shows the often contradictory intersection of sex and technology.

If you don’t want to exert any effort manually, there also exist masturbators with vibration modes to help you ejaculate the way you wish to. What a weirdly wonderful time to be alive.

But yeah, lubrication is essential to avoid friction burns on your little friend. Also, cleaning it after use is key if you want to avoid a self cream-pie situation. Easy Beat Eggs are a great starting point if you want to get into a basic one-time use masturbator. I’ve personally tried them and you can also find them online easily.

What’s hot: It’s a nifty sex toy that just fits about anywhere, and can fit any cock within itself. It’s definitely a good place to start.

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What’s not: Over time, thanks to built-up air pressure, masturbators like Fleshlights start sounding like flatulence. So if that’s a turn off, be mindful. Also, cleaning them can be slightly time-consuming. 

Cock Rings

Cock rings made a debut in porn films a long time ago, where most male porn stars can be seen wearing them to keep their shafts facing the Northern Star. Cock rings are made of metal or expandable plastic and are worn around the base of the penis (like a ring, of course). Sometimes they come with attachments for the testicles too as well as vibrators on the rings. The point of this toy is to constrict the blood flow to the penis to keep it harder for longer. Many of them come with vibrating options so everybody involved has a good time. As Beyoncé famously put it, “If you like it, then you should have put a ring on it.” 

“Cock rings or pleasure rings are highly popular as it can be used by couples to spice up their sex lives and are also a gateway into the world of men’s sex toys,” informs Saraiya. If you’re trying one out for the first time, look up silicone or elastic versions.

What’s hot: It’s extremely travel-friendly, adds an oomph to sex and you can cum great distances. I know several men who would love to have that cumming range again. 

What’s not: If you have a sensitive dick, it might get a little ticklish with the vibrator option. Also, it takes getting used to if you’ve never had something wound around your crotch.

Sex dolls

Sex dolls have often been relegated to “the man who is a creepy loner” category in films and literature. However, sex dolls have been companions to men across history and every region has had its version of a sex doll. Legend even has it that Hitler made one of his SS Commanders design sex dolls for the German soldiers during World War II so they wouldn’t have sexual intercourse with non-Aryan women. 

Most of the apprehension around sex dolls lies in how the cheap ones tend to look. The blow-up dolls don’t look too different from the water floats seen in swimming pools. In Japan, these inexpensive dolls are called “datchi waifu”, derived from Dutch Wife (because the sailors back in the day had a lot of lonely ocean months). With time, however, the design and the features on sex dolls have become more realistic, thankfully bringing them out of the weird territory they used to live in. As the price range improves, so do the features on the sex dolls. The expensive ones come with joints that move at the limbs and the hips, and also boast real/realistic hair and facial features. In Canada and parts of Russia, sex doll brothels are propped up to be the way of the future.

Sex dolls today have even evolved into sex robots, complete with artificial intelligence and remote control options to ensure the robot does what you desire. If the machines were to rise against humanity tomorrow, we should ensure that at least we had a good time leading up to it. 

What’s good: It saves so much effort involved in taking a real non-inflatable person out for dinner or a movie before getting into bed. Sex dolls also act as an easy way to practice your sex moves before busting them out in real life. Think of it as target practice. 

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What’s not: Storage might be an issue if you live alone and do not want your friends to know about your sex doll companion. But if your friends are not judgemental, then nothing’s stopping your doll from being the life of the party.

Vacuum cups

If you’ve seen a penis enlargement ad on an untrustworthy website, then they are possibly selling you vacuum cups, or penis pumps. That’s not to say they don’t work, but the source definitely matters. “Many men want to grow their penis size and have searched the internet and learned about the long-term benefits of using a pump,” says Saraiya.

What a penis pump does is create vacuum within a cylindrical chamber and pull more blood to your penis, thereby adding more girth to it. These cups are available in manual and digital options. In the manual one, you pump the pressure pump till you can feel the blood ready to escape your erect dick. In the digital option, you can customize it to the desired setting and relax.

What’s hot: It’s a simple mechanism that goes a long way in making your dick look like it just spent a month in the gym.

What’s not: It looks suspiciously like a bong, so you might have to explain it to the security if they ask. Some people use it to enlarge their testicles too but I personally don’t see the allure in that. 

Prostate massagers

Now most men who have reached this part of the article are already rolling their eyes because putting anything up your bum is considered gay by those who proclaim to be nothing but straight. But hear me out, there is a special reason your prostate rests so gently up your bunghole, men. It is, for all intents and purposes, the male G-spot. Ask any man who has had his prostate played with properly and they will tell you tales of glorious orgasms that sent shivers of joy through every pore of their being. With a little bit of lubrication, you can get a prostate massager right in place to satisfy you in ways no human ever possibly can. The modern ones even come with controls so you get to decide how your prostate is played with. 

What’s hot: A healthy prostate means lower risks of prostate cancer. The massager can also act as a gateway into more kinkier anal options like beads, butt plugs and dildos. No holes barred really.

What’s not: This one needs the most cleaning out of all the sex toys.

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