Important Question of Our Times: Why Aren't Men Getting Down With the Vibrating Vagina?

Sex toys are A-OK for women but still taboo for men. Why?

“What do you think of sex toys for men?” I asked on Google+. “Not cool!” responded a guy instantly. Exactly--the general consensus seems to be that men's sex toys are creepy, hilarious and/or kind of shameful.

But why? Women have been riding their Magic Wands for years and everyone seems pretty chill about it. (Even the Sunday newspaper coupon supplement—the squarest place in the world!—has vibrator clip n' saves lurking around in awkward proximity to ads for support socks and collectible figurines.) And yet there's still the lingering stigma around a man getting down with a Fleshlight or vibrating vagina.

Let's figure this $%$# out. Here are some theories via sex therapists, writers and regular guy masturbators—gay, straight, toy virgins and guys who will do pretty much anything with a slutty slutty machine.

--”Real” Men Don't Need Toys

“People have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that a sexually active man who has sex with partners can also have a sex toy. They think it's either/or,” says sex therapist Kendra Holliday (who, incidentally, has no such qualms, having tried an—alas, unfulfilling—threesome with her partner and a transsexual love doll.)

Buying a toy is an admission that a man knows he isn't going to get laid, and worse, perhaps even looking forward to his subsequent solo wank. “It should be done quickly, powerfully, manfully, and not done with any accoutrements that might suggest the man actually prefers masturbation to the heat and musk of a woman,” says Greg.

This is why so many toys are advertised for partner play, even though they're perfectly fine for solo use. Even if they probably won't be used with a partner, the idea that they might be magically rids the toys of a certain implied stench of failure.

--It's Taken Longer for Men's Toys to Get Up to Speed, So to Speak.

Women's toys don't need to replicate the feeling of a mouth, hand or penis because the instant ohmygod of vibration (presumably discovered by some lucky woman who leaned just the right way on a cotton gin or something). “Women use vibrators and sex toys to achieve what they often can’t achieve with their partners: orgasms or multiple orgasms,” says Dr. Adam Sheck aka The Passion Doctor.

For men, it's a tougher technological challenge to replicate the multiple sensations (warmth, moisture, pressure and/or suction) of mouth or vagina. Even replicating the sensation of the good ol' workaday hand is overwhelmingly tricky. “You can make your hand precisely as tight or loose as you wish at any given moment, and you have five individual fingers that can work together or independently to achieve all sorts of effects,” says Ben.

–The Male Gaze

“The male gaze” is the idea that our society views things through the eyes of a straight guy. In the case of sex toys, the male gaze is a total c*ckblock. “If you hear about a woman owning a vibrator, you might think about her using it, which for a straight male is arousing. If you hear about a man owning a vibrator, you also might think about him using it. For a straight male, thinking about another man masturbating is strongly discouraged,” says Cody.

For a lot of gay men, who presumably don't have a problem imagining other men masturbating, using sex toys isn't such a big stinkin' deal. “I can't speak for every gay man in America (damn, wish I could!) but I would say at least half of us use toys, even those in committed relationships,” says James.

It's true in mainstream porn as well—lots of toys in gay porn, tons of vibrator-wielding women, but rarely any straight guys getting down with a masturbation sleeve. And if there isn't a porn for it, it's not gonna be happening.

--Men Try a Lame Toy, Then Give Up

Brian Moylan, who's written about such things for Nerve and Vice, says: “There are a lot of shitty sex toys on the market for guys--flimsy plastic things that you buy at XXX stores or those fake porn star vaginas or blow up dolls. Those are awful and I think guys don't know that there are better things out there.”

Early adapter guys, who tried toys before better versions were developed, were disappointed en masse upon putting those substandard toys on their respective wieners. “Any layer of whatever (rubber, plastic, silicone) coming between the hand and the penis actually decreases sensation and pleasure, rather than increasing it,” concluded Ben, after buying a “meh” silicone sleeve a few years back. “Why spend 100 bucks, or even 20, just to get a downgrade in pleasure?”

--Unwanted Cleaning Chore.

The nature of a lot of toys means that a successful session means something's gonna end up covered in splooge. “They just seem inherently gross to me. Once you've used it, it's just going to become this...sperm container,” said Rick. No one wants to be the one who has to clean the sperm container, even if it is your turn according to the job chart.

--Will Insanely Amazing Machine-Induced Orgasms Change Men's Minds? Outlook Good.

Men aren't going care about any of that in, oh, about 4 seconds from now because toys are completely amazing now, according to those who have Known them in that way. “In the last past 5 years, we have seen revolutionary changes in the design of male sex toys to better enhance stimulation and pleasure,” says Andy Duran, Educational Outreach and Affiliate Manager at Good Vibrations. Duran cites products like the Cobra Libre II, a German-made oral pleasure machine “inspired by hot sports cars and revving motors” and Aneros, a prostate massager.

Moylan also likes the Aneros. “A prostate orgasm is like 17 million times better than one with just the dick. That's why gay guys love to bottom so damn much.” For the front side, he likes the Tenga Flip Hole and the Hot Octopus Pulse: “The Pulse uses technology that they use in hospitals to get paralyzed men to give semen samples. You just put your dick in it and hold it there and it will give you an orgasm that seems to last until next Tuesday,” he says.

“There is something magical and unbelievable about experiencing pure pleasure by doing nothing but holding a machine on your johnson,” Moylan adds, echoing the sentiments of womankind since the portable vibrator appeared in the 1918 Sears Roebuck catalog. ("Very useful and satisfactory for home service," the ad reads, vaguely, hoping you get the idea.).

If these Next Gen toys are actually as good as they sound (and, holy hell, they do sound good, don't they?), the question's gonna be moot as more men experience the kind of lasting-'til-next-Tuesday orgasms a machine can give them. “Guys just need more education about how much fun these things can be. They need to not judge themselves or let anyone think badly of them,” says Moylan.

Jill Hamilton writes In Bed With Married Women

Jill Hamilton writes In Bed With Married Women (www.inbedwithmarriedwomen.com). Follow her on Twitter @Jill_Hamilton.

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