Sex toys for boys, men, and the people who love them

Sex toys are for all genders. Indeed, read this article as a guide for enjoying toys that cater to your anatomy. If I had a clitoris and other assorted vaginal parts, I’d head over to SheBop to get my investigative research fix on what works best for me; or if I was on the internet and looking to support a celebrity of color, I’d look up Bedroom Kandi by Kandi Burruss, a.k.a. the woman who wrote TLC’s “No Scrubs,” a.k.a. the woman who gave you your middle and high school life, a.k.a. the woman you can pay back for downloading TLC on Limewire by buying her sex toys. (I’ve been watching a lot of Real Housewives of Atlanta lately, cut me some slack.)

Over the course of my research, I discovered Bedroom Kandi is also made for men and has items that are not explicitly sex toys, but are still great for setting the mood by yourself or with a partner. I realized that, compared to some of Portland’s local retailers (Spartacus, Fantasy for Adults Only, Taboo and Fat Cobra, to name names), Bedroom Kandi for Men is basic, and men looking for something more complex than a c-ring or butt plug made from one material might be left lacking.

Fear not, ye boys, men, and people in-between said designations. The Portland State Vanguard is here to give you a starting point on sex toys for your body, using advice curated from local retail experts. You might be asking:

What is the difference between a butt plug, a prostate massager, and other anal toys?

Butt plugs and toys like anal beads provide stimulation to your anus, whereas prostate massagers or stimulators have a long, slender and curved design meant to specifically target the prostate, a.k.a. the male G-spot. In any case, these toys can provide men with powerful orgasms, provide greater awareness and heightened sensitivity across the body, and prepare men for anal play with a partner, or for a prostate exam with a doctor. Prostate health is important, dudes. Not into it? Get into it.

What do different materials mean for my body?

Toys made out of silicone are great for learning how to control your anus and are more forgiving on your body if you hit a weird angle inside yourself or if you want to be especially rough on a given day. Silicone toys will eventually break down, but harder, high-grade materials like metal, glass and even crystal are more durable, great for experienced players, can be heated or chilled for added effect, and are easier to clean and keep sterile. Non-fragrant soap and hot water is key to keep your toys sanitary and like-new.

What toys should I and should I not use on my penis?

C-rings (or cock rings) are the most popular male toy sold at Spartacus. They come in different materials and colors, range in elasticity, and can be worn in ways ranging from around the penis’ shaft and/or testicles to something more in line with BDSM. C-rings keep blood in the penis-area: heightening sensitivity, prolonging size/duration of erection, and intensifying orgasm.

Masturbating devices are a great way to take a hand job to the next level. Sleeves of varying size and material are filled with textured silicone and other materials meant to stimulate the shaft and are often the smaller, more discrete version of the type of sex toy commonly known by the brand Fleshlight. Fleshlights, by comparison, simulate any human orifice and can often be cross-branded by a specific adult entertainer to fulfill the fantasy of playing with a specific performer. For partner play, penis extenders can be worn that provide heightened stimulation for both partners.

Spartacus sells penis pumps on discount but does not recommend customers buy them. Penis pumps purportedly work to increase erection size, but in the process damage blood vessels and the outer layers of dermis on the penis shaft. Articles on biohacking to achieve similar effects were recommended instead.

Somewhere on the experienced fetish side of this spectrum lies a practice known as sounding and is generally preferred among men who work extensively in human anatomy, e.g. doctors and other medical professionals. When someone with a penis and prostate is very relaxed, a knowledgeable person can guide a metal rod (usually 4–17 millimeters in diameter) down through the urethra until they are close to the prostate. Once the rod is in place, it can be gently struck with another metal object, which sends soft vibrations down the urethra’s ultra-sensitive nerve endings and reach the prostate. Literature on the practice heavily emphasizes experience, care and sterility of toys.

How does lube factor into my play time?

Proper lubrication is like reading: fundamental. Water-based lube, for instance, will not break down your silicone-based toys like silicone-based lube will, and it will not destroy your latex-based condoms like oil-based lube will. Water-based lube, however, has a tendency to become “tacky,” or sticky, after use, which is how people come to use oil or silicone-based lube. Oil-based lube is great for sexual activity without condoms, but as we all know, not using condoms exposes penises and toys to germs and additional wear and tear that can leave them vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Use your best judgment and/or ask an expert for advice when you’re out shopping if you’re not sure. Portland State’s Center for Student Health and Counseling offers free water-based lube and condoms for all PSU students, if you need a place to get your first supplies.