You may be forgiven for thinking you’ve been served more ads for male sex toys online lately. The industry is growing, and the way we communicate online is partly responsible.
As we become more accustomed to talking about sex from behind our screens, we’re getting into the details. Threads on Reddit are a long list of kinks without shame, closed Facebook groups are a safe place for men to share their feelings, and online media outlets such as our own Man of Many provide the latest in technology – including sex toys.
According to psycho sexologist and Lovehoney partner, Chantelle Otten, more open conversations lead to better understandings about what you’re into, reaping the rewards of a positive sex life. In fact, she says 71% of people feel sex helps them feel better mentally and two-thirds (66%) agree sex plays an important role in one’s overall happiness.*
So, what does that mean for the big business of the male sex toy industry? According to Forbes, the sex toy industry is predicted to grow by $9.9billion USD between now and 2023.** That’s a huge amount of tech innovation for the bedroom, supported by the fact that more than half (54%) of men enhance their pleasure levels with sex toys.*
“Self-pleasure is no longer secretive and hidden, which has led to more products being designed to address individual male and female needs,” Chantelle says.
“If you are brand new to sex toys, they can seem intimidating at times; however, it is key to remember that sex toys are built as a fun and exciting way to enhance our erotic play.”
In the US, more than half of all men have used a sex toy at some point in their lives. With the number for women being somewhere between 60-65%, there’s not a huge disparity between genders.***
Online shopping makes it easy for everyone. With stores such as Lovehoney, Par Femme, Wild Secrets, JouJou and even Catch offering discreet packaging (and sometimes Credit Card references) for online purchases, click-and-collect for pleasure has never been simpler. When shopping for your first toy, consider where you want heightened pleasure – your cock, ass, balls or all of the above?
Next, think (honestly) about how you’ll care for your toy. Choose materials that work with your lifestyle – silicone is easy to clean and flexible, while glass and metal are strong and sometimes so beautiful you could display them.
From here, choose your filters and find what gets you off.
Toys specifically designed for men include the many variations on a fleshlight (also known as strokers or male masturbators), vibrating or stretch cock rings, prostate massagers, penis pumps, couples vibrators (often controlled via apps – a lot of fun!), dildos, butt plugs, rubber cock and ball sheaths, and more. Almost all can be used solo or with a partner.
Before bringing sex toys into a shared bedroom, have an open conversation with your lover.
“Sex toys aren’t just for self-pleasure, they’re for couples to maximise their intimacy levels, increase desire and sexual satisfaction,” Chantelle says.
“Sex toys are designed to be an extension of your sexual potential. A good way to think about sex toys is that they are like salt and pepper – you don’t need them, but they make everything better!”
However, Forbes also notes in a recent article that sex toys are not gender-specific: ‘Many retailers…have already removed gendered language from their websites, opening the door for customers who might be interested in trying something, but are put off by the suggestion that it’s only for certain people or has to be used in a certain way’.
Ultimately, when it comes to the products you use to get off, don’t put anything in a (toy)box!
BARE Sexology is an Australian platform that shares sex and relationships tips in bite-size snippets. Follow the pleasure via @baresexology.