Being a man is hard these days. Add to the dysfunction a wide variety of male sex toys and self-pleasure aids and you have a recipe for debauchery disaster. And although good sex should be written into the Constitution, it’s still sometimes a taboo subject. As a result, many men don’t know how to properly use their sex toys to get the maximum pleasure out of them in the safest way possible. In fact, sex toys are the cause of numerous embarrassing hospital visits each year.
According to recent study, the number of patients seeking immediate medical attention because of the misuse of sex toys has skyrocketed in the last few years. In 2006 alone, more than 6,000 people were treated for sex to related injuries in the U.S. It’s fair to say that the actual figures may be even higher, as many folks refuse to seek help when their sex toys bite back.
This unsettling trend may be due to the increasing number of sex toys available on the modern market, but it could also be caused by misinformation and/or lack of knowledge. When over 80% of all sex toy injuries occurred because the user got the item stuck inside them, it’s feasible to assume that people need more education on the matter. When it comes to men especially, sex toy safety is usually the last thing discussed.
Doctors all over the world have reported removing television remotes, cell phones, small animals, shampoo bottles, and cans of hairspray from patients’ bodies. While those items are in no way, shape, or form intended to be used for sexual pleasure, they get used a lot because men and women don’t know how to properly play with a sex toy and they end up getting desperate. Instead of having to explain that to a medical professional, why not just brush up on your sex toy safety and be on your merry way?
Stuck Like Chuck
Men have to be extra careful about the types of sex toys they play with, especially when they intend to use the sex toy internally. Butt plugs and prostate massagers are notorious for getting jammed inside the rectum during a little rough-housing. However, proper use of them can prevent that from happening altogether.
You see, the rectal muscles retract and thus pull items deeper inside without the wearer having to much of anything. It’s a natural reflex that keeps the shit from falling out of your ass, but it can also be dangerous when you’re using anal sex toys. So, fellas, be sure to use plenty of lubrication and opt for toys with the following 5 features:
- A flared base to keep the device from slipping too far inside your anal canal
- An ergonomic grip to help you and/or your partner keep a handle on things
- A skin-safe material that won’t cause any uncomfortable rashes
- A safety switch (if it vibrates) to help you shut it down quickly when the ride gets too bumpy
- An appropriate size so it’s less likely to slip too far or, alternatively, cause anal fissures
The right ass play toy can be a lot of fun regardless of your skill level, perversion, or sexual orientation. It’s your right to explore the catacombs of your body, it’s just that you need to be careful doing it. For most anal sex toys, a good water-based lube is always recommended.
Now, this doesn’t exclude cock rings, which usually don’t require much lube but can get stuck just the same. In fact, those ringed rascals can get lodged on your dick faster than 40 going west if you don’t use them as they’re intended. Try to use yours the way it was meant to be used, and only play with cock rings that have the following 3 features:
- A skin-safe material (usually a type of silicone that doesn’t contain any rubbers, latex, or phthalates)
- A flexible ring that can easily stretch to accommodate various sized dicks while also keeping its strength and integrity
- An ergonomic, textured finger pad or easy-grip handle to help you slide it on and remove it without tearing off the skin on your dick
A cock ring can be a man’s best friend, but only if its used responsibly and manufactured by a company that understands the male anatomy. While cock rings injuries only account for about 2% of all reported cases, it can still happen to anybody. It’s recommended that no man attempt wearing a cock ring for more than two or three hours max. To stay on the safe side, only purchase cock rings from a brand you know and trust and always play in moderation.
Less Is More
Too much of a good thing can (sometimes) be bad. When it comes to overusing one of your sex toys, it can be very bad. In fact, playing with your pretties too much can cause desensitization, chronic numbness, erectile dysfunction, skin irritations, or even severe pain. Recent studies show that about 20% of all overly enthusiastic sex toy users has experienced one of more of those side effects.
Long story short: keep your genitals happily guessing by switching up the position, vibe pattern, or placement of your favorite toys during each play session. In other words, don’t concentrate too intently on one spot. As Will Ferrell said when he imitated thee Bruce Dickenson, “Explore the space.” If you don’t, you’ll need more than a little cowbell to get the motor up and running, if you know what I mean.
Keep in mind as well that chronic masturbation, although perfectly natural in moderation and certainly a lot of fun, can cause severe skin irritation, abrasions, rashes, and sores. Those things can develop into infections which require medical attention immediately to prevent long-term effects. So, while you’re refraining from sticking your favorite sex toys in places they don’t belong, also remember that you need to put them back in your sock drawer every now and then or else you’ll be headed to the ER with the same look of shame in your eyes.
Knowledge Is Power
Unfortunately, the government has yet to create many regulations pertaining to sex toys and their relative safety. That means consumers must practice due diligence to ensure they’re getting a good product. Failure to know your sex toy like the back of your hand could result in loss of life and limb (or at the very least a painful experience).
While many sex toy manufacturers have stopped making “marital aids” that contain phthalates, it’s not a 100% guarantee that all toys will be free of that potentially harmful material. Phthalates have been commonly used in the past to increase a toy’s flexibility and softness, but the side effects are very dangerous. In fact, there are numerous cases wherein unsuspecting sex toy users have gotten the brunt of material ignorance. In some instances, men developed cancer and suffered serious damage to their reproductive systems, liver, prostate, and testes.
Most of the boxes that today’s sex toys come in will inform customers of the presence of phthalates, but some still don’t. Moreover, phthalates sometimes go by different names or are found in otherwise innocuous materials, such as:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
So, since phthalates are typically used to soften the plastic, keep a close eye on toys that are extremely bendable or jelly-like. While you’re at it, consider porosity. Usually, skin-safe or medical-grade silicone, glass, metal, or hard plastic toys are the safest. However, the squish-factor of a product is not always indicative of a phthalate presence.
Porosity may actually suggest something equally as disturbing. Porous sex toys can harbor large colonies of bacteria. In addition, toys made with an absorbent material aren’t easy to clean. Still, as long as you stay away from phthalates (or latex if you’re allergic) then porous toys aren’t so bad. Just keep them clean by using a condom when you play and be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for anything specific.
Since jelly toys are usually less expensive than silicone ones, many people just use the cheaper toys with a good condom and everyone is usually happy (as long as the condom doesn’t break). But, phthalates and other harmful chemicals eventually leak into the toy and find their way into your body. So, it’s probably best to avoid those types of toys altogether if you can afford it.
Dirty Little Secret
Speaking of cleaning, did you know that about 20% of all sex toy users admit to never properly cleaning their playthings after recreation? As gross as that sounds, it’s the reality we live in, folks. Such lax habits can be quite problematic, especially if the toy is used internally or shared between partners. Unless you’re okay with that type of shit, it’s always wise to take care of your business like a grown up.
Dirty sex toys can spread HPV, HIV, hepatitis B and C as well as other nasty STDs. Regardless of how zoned out you are after an orgasm, always take the time to clean your toys with warm water and soap at least. If you’re really smart, you’ll invest in some toy cleaner or renewal powder to keep your toys completely free from bacteria and/or disease. For toys that aren’t waterproof, just slap on some rubbing alcohol to reduce the stank after having your come-down cigarette.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to keep your toys put up in a cool, dry place when they’re not in use. Most sex toy manufacturers send carrying cases or storage bags with their products, but even the one who don’t give that stuff away for free still sell them on the side. Simply put: don’t be a cheapskate; buy (or create) something to store your toy in or you’ll be sorry. At the very least, you’ll be stuck with a toy that has 18 pounds of lint and debris on it, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
As always, let your toy air dry completely before putting it away to prevent an overgrowth of bacteria or mold. Because your bodily fluids are chalk full of nutrients, they create a breeding ground for such nastiness and that can cause a bigger mess than the heftiest of loads. If you’ve never been on a strong antibiotic because of a disgusting and preventable infection caused by a dirty sex toy, I suggest keeping it that way.
Because of the lack of government regulations on sex toy manufacturing protocols, it’s a good idea to buy products from companies that have a good reputation in the industry. Unclear marketing terms are what many no-name brands use to convince people to buy their products. Don’t fall for the bullshit.
That’s not to say that some of the lesser known brands can’t still crank out some remarkable stuff, it’s just that you want to make sure the manufacturer is thoroughly committed to creating sex toys that are ideal for your pleasure and your health. A vendor or brand with good street cred will have properly researched and vetted their products for consumers from their target demographic (and beyond).
Find out if a brand is worth your interest by reading some customer reviews or perusing their website. Getting your toys directly from the manufacturer may help matters as well, since most brands and vendors are rather forthcoming about the pros and cons of their toys. Products purchased through third-party sites like Amazon or eBay may not provide the information you need to make an educated decision.
Sharing Is Caring (Or Not)
It’s a common misconception that sex toys are only for the lonely. Couples use sex toys all the time to achieve stronger, longer, and wilder climaxes. There’s nothing wrong (and in fact, everything right) with using your favorite toys to give your lover a proper O face. So, when sharing your sex toys with a partner, always do so with care.
Whether using a cock ring, masturbator, or butt plug, properly cleaning it between participants is obviously important. While it may reduce the passion or create an awkward lull in playtime, nothing is more off-putting than a subsequent infection because you didn’t have the balls to do the right thing. This is particularly vital for those who use anal toys, as the anus is replete with bacteria. To put it mildly, an unclean device can be a literal pain in the ass.
Just Your Type
Knowing the types of toys you like can play a big role in how safe they are to use. Consider a situation where you’re unsure how you feel about anal play. You brazenly try a new butt plug, tense up in anticipation, and end up ripping yourself a new asshole. It doesn’t matter how much lube you used; if you’re not ready for the party it’s more likely to be a pooper (pun intended). On the other hand, knowing that you like anal sex toys will make the experience much better.
If you’re into trying new things but don’t want to cause bodily harm, start out small. Luckily, most sex toys (anal or otherwise) come in various shapes and sizes. Beginners should look for moderately lengthy toys that have a relatively skinny girth and few features. Professionals can opt for larger toys with tons of bells and whistles. Just remember, you’ve got to crawl before you walk, or you’re bound to fall.
Fortunately, masturbators are usually easier to pick out and typically safe for all user levels. However, it’s important to consider the tightness of its openings and the insertable length of its canal. Huge dicks are usually unwelcome, but there are several toys out there that are adjustable, super stretchy, or both.
The Last Word
Playing with a variety of male sex toys can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of responsibility if you want to do it more than once. The following are a few additional safety tips to help keep you in the bedroom and out of the ER:
- Use plenty of high-quality lube.
Using hand lotion or oil is a big no-no, especially if you’re playing with a latex toy. Silicone-based lubes are bad news for silicone toys because the toy’s material will basically melt away. Your safest bet is to go for a good, old-fashioned water-based lube for everything.
- Keep the battery charged.
The worst thing I’ve ever seen happen to a guy originated from him neglecting to fully charge the battery in his toy. The damned thing shut off mid-stroke while the mechanisms inside were squeezing his shaft. It took him a lot of time and a lot of effort to get his dick dislodged.
- Avoid water with electrical toys.
This one aught to be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many men electrocute themselves every day because they got their electrical toys too close to water. Read all warnings and caution labels just to make sure you understand what can and can’t be done with your toys.