This article originally appeared on VICE UK
Imagine having a hard-on for 18 hours. Well, now you don't need to, because 70-year-old entrepreneur Richard Wylie has made that dream a reality with a product called Stays-Hard. There's clearly a demand it for it: Richard says it sold out in its first 24 hours and saw its fair share of overseas demand, with orders as far-flung as South Korea. As reported faithfully by the tabloids last week, you might just see the plastic and steel penis trap prescribed by a doctor near you: come 2018, if all goes to plan, it could be available on the NHS.
This isn't Wylie's first foray into inventions. He's developed a number of products that he tells me have been very successful. "We have one product that stops aggressive dogs attacking people, which is used by anyone that opens a garden gate and some Rottweiler is going to chew them to pieces."
I called the married, father-of-four at 8 AM on a weekday to chat about erections, the lies guys tell about their dicks, and why he's the man to save premature ejaculators around the world.
VICE: Hi Richard. Was it older men you had in mind when you created Stays-Hard?
Richard Wylie: About 30 percent of younger men suffer from premature ejaculation. There could be many reasons for that: some guys are pretty shy, don't have a lot of experience or have unrealistic expectations of how it works. Imagine you've met the girl of your dreams and they've got expectations of you—and if you can't fulfill your duties and satisfy your partner, then you get the old cliché: Is that all? It's a bit of a let-down. And if that happens a few times, it drives the problem forward. With Stays-Hard, a guy can put it on and because it keeps the penis erect, it stretches the penis. It means even if that guy only lasted 30 seconds, he could ejaculate but then he'd be able to carry on and satisfy his partner.
What made you create a tool of your own?
I used to work as a non-medical partner at a Harley Street clinic. We were dispensing absolutely massive prescriptions for Viagra. We also had a lot of guys coming through who had sexual dysfunction problems. I started developing [the invention] six or seven years ago, then patented it about five years ago. I spent the rest of the time fine-tuning this wonderful product.
Where did you devotion to the cause come from?
I had this problem myself. I've had it for over 20 years, since I was 50. It was an unsatisfactory situation. I thought, What am I going to do? I talked to a number of urologists. One of them was extremely helpful and drew me a little design. I looked into it. We developed some prototypes initially and we got some small funding to develop further.
Could you tell me how Stays-Hard works?
It's a very snug fit. It follows the contours of the penis, so it's hardly visible. If you were some great guy who had some great reputation and all of a sudden things weren't "working" that well, you could disappear in the bathroom, put the thing on, roll on a condom on top of it and whoever you've met for that night wouldn't know you were using it!
Interesting. Several news outlets have led with the fact that it can keep you hard for 12 hours. Is that true?
Yes, it can give you a hard-on for as long as you want. Some may wish to make love all day and that's quite possible with the product.
Supposing a guy has a micropenis? Would it still work then?
We've got something that benefits all types, all races, whether people are short, tall, whatever. As much as guys tell you, "I'm built like a porn star," or whatever, they're not. If we were going to deal with gentlemen who have the largest dongs going, we can have a product made to a bigger size. Equally so, there's some guys who have micropenises, at a couple of inches. We can by exception help those people as well. But we wanted to make something for the average situation, around the range of 80 to 85 percent of men.
What would you say to people who'd suggest that staying hard for 12 hours is a bit of an inconvenience?
If your boyfriend said, "Do you want to bed for the whole day?" you might say: "Get lost." It's whatever suits the couple. Stays-Hard could be used for… rehab. If you broke your finger, they'd probably stick it in a splint, wouldn't they? It is possible to use this as a rehab device.
Let's talk about the $50 price tag.
I think it's a bargain. I've only had one customer who's cancelled one order. Stays-Hard is going to restore partnership harmony.
That's Richard, introducing the device to the world
I read that you've used it yourself…
Of course I have! I use it pretty regularly; I'd like to use it more often. I'm married to a lady in her 50s. We're not a honeymoon couple, we've had four sons. It certainly satisfies my needs and my partner's needs.
Do you think men and women would be comfortable with a plastic-covered steel tube going in and out of their bodies during sex?
Yeah, because it's hardly noticeable. It's not big, not bulky, it's lightweight, it fits snugly onto the penis. So if it was put on, not everything's visible. All your partner's seeing is, Oh wow that's a good-size erection. It allows blood to flow naturally.
Will you be creating anything for women?
Well, women can get very turned on by an erection and satisfactory sexual intercourse. So there's nothing that I've planned for women at the moment because I can't think of anything apart from, give them the product. A good 20 percent of the orders are women buying Stays-Hard. They'll probably give them to their partners in a nice way and say: 'Look, you've had a few problems. Use this.'
Where do you see Stays-Hard going in future?
Sex is a big industry. Not being able to have sex is a disaster. So if you've got half of the men over 40 that can't have sex, they're looking for some solution.
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