Sex toys for men are better than ever

Article by Mark Hay /
Vice /
March 28, 2017 /
Click here to view original /

[Dutch to English Translation]

Your prostate makes a dance.

For her book Masturbation in Pop Culture, Lauren Rosewarne, an expert in the field of sexuality in popular culture, searched over six hundred modern movies and TV scenes that portrayed or referred to masturbation. Man or woman portrayed shamefully or shamelessly, everything seems to pass the revue. But although many clearly refer to several sex toys directed to and made for women, there are hardly any references to sex toys for men – apart from sexpuppies, cartooneske inflatables like Bud Bundy’s “Isis” in Married … With Children of Scary Meaty Imitations such as Bianca in Lars and the Real Girl. They are all meant to be mean sex substitutes for little males.

These views are part of a prevailing negative view of the historically limited supply of male sex toys. But this image begins to get out of date. Over the past decade, male sex toys have landed in a renaissance of design, quality and diversity. Sales grow rapidly (in some stores sales have grown by 1000 percent in the last decade) and target groups have grown and they have shaken a large part of their old stigma.

Like Clair Cavanah, co-founder of popular sex shop Babeland, states: “We live in a wonderful time to have a penis and prostate in the field of sex toys.”

There is not so much information available about the history of male toys as about the early origin of toys for women. Still, you can rest assured that men’s toys were often lightweight, bad and focused on men with performance problems – think of the penis pump – which did not really make miracles for their attractiveness from mid to the end of the twentieth century.

The market gained a boost in 1995 by Fleshlight, a fake page, which, by using better material, imitates the sense of human openings more than previous toys. “The Fleshlight made masturbation with a toy popular among heteromans,” said Leo Debois of adamstoybox.com, a shop aimed at men, founded in 2013. “That was the gate to everything else.”

Nevertheless, Fleshlight did not produce much. Changing opinions, better materials and positive paintings (such as the Rabbit vibrator in Sex and the City) made women’s toys around the millennium change mainstream and stimulated innovation. But men’s toys did not go into this. Recent research suggests that many men, like women, use sex toys – but they use vibrators, often built for and focused on women, and usually with partners, less often for masturbation. According to Cavanah, Babeland had only a few toys for men, such as the Fleshlight and Cock, in the mid-nineties. The latter are mainly aimed at homosexual men.

“Brands were pushed to produce new and better prostate massagers,” says Thomson to VICE, from larger toys to vibrating devices that could generate a hands-free anal orgasm; Babeland went from two prostate toys to sales in 2008 to 23 now. “When the fabric was pulled up a few years later, the quality of anal sex products for men had grown tremendously and the landscape of male sexuality looked very different,” said Thomson. Although sales figures for counterfeit vagina or cock rings have risen modestly in recent years, prostate massagers sold as a malle.

Wild innovation in the field of prostate massagers also points to the willingness to reject the idea of ​​mimicking a male sex scene, which greatly reduces the potential enjoyment. In addition to prostate toys (and the B-Vibe, which mimics something like rhymes), this impulse is illustrated by Hot Octupus’ highly acclaimed Pulse, a pencil which, using a vibrating piston instead of a standard engine, has a unique form of vibration on the The focal point focuses on handsfree and (for many men) unique orgasm. Sir Richard’s ELEMENT MS also resembles the old design with the focus on the shaft and does not try to replace sex but to enhance the enjoyment with new physical sensations for both men and women.

Releasing the idea of ​​imitating human anatomy and the willingness to embrace liberal design are in the process of replacing scandalous packaging and provocative designs through tight modernism – things that the average consumer does not feel ashamed to possess. Thomson thinks it was around 2014 that these trends reached the general public and the market for men’s toys was redefined. Debois started adamstoybox.com the year before, because his team noticed this growing men’s playthings, and found that someone had to focus on it. They have annual growth in sales figures of 60% since they opened and that seems to continue.

Some developments in male sex toys could stem from the total growth of the sex toys market, which costs $ 15 billion a year, and optimists think it will grow to 50 billion by 2020. This is symbolic of a continued march of increasing acceptance of broader perceptions and experiences of sexual pleasure. But there has also been a special shift among men. A recent study shows that today 78 percent of men would consider buying a sex game and 70 percent rejected stigma about male sex toys. Sellers say the target group gets younger and less ashamed and does not look like toys related to performance issues. Ariana Rodriguez, product editor at XBIZ magazine, thinks that the focus on nuanced, tolerant views on sexual pleasure in the media, mainly lifestyle and health publications, has done much to break down the stigma. Perhaps this also explains why male users of toys in a survey had better habits in sexual health than others.

“More resources are available online that emphasize the benefits of prostate stimulation in the area of ​​sexual health and pleasure,” she says. “Movember offers, for example, a good chance of discovering and discussing public p-spot stimulation while promoting prostate health at the same time. ”

Debois thinks that prostate toys probably also benefited from broader acceptance and understanding of both homosexuality and liquid sexuality. As typical heterosexual men are no longer afraid of being gay when embracing things in their ass. Also, better packaging and marketing have made a lot of effort to ensure men buy toys do not make them fools, find both Cavanah and Thomson.

Despite these advances, Rodriguez still thinks there are twice as many women-oriented products on the market than men-directed products. Debois still loves those women’s toys that are far ahead of men. And Alptraum rightly notes that many toys are still focused on imitating male anatomy and forget about the importance of design and the diversity of pleasure that the male body can experience. These products, like the updated Fleshlight models, still have the key position in price for sex toys and mainstream media attention and control high consumer loyalty and market place.

It is unclear whether the recent flood of innovation will last long enough to close the male-female gender gap. Perhaps genderless toys that focus on flexible enjoyment from user anatomy, such as those in which LELO is involved, can lead the way. Thinking about games and sensations apart from gender would well generate new innovations.

For now, it is probably enough for people with a male anatomy to embrace all the wonderful new options that have been available to them for the past few years. Contemporary male toys already offer a totally new world for most men. The more we discover, the more stigma we can break, we can provide user feedback for innovation and cope as we’ve never done.