Last week, using the results of Betty’s Ultimate Sex Toy Survey, I debunked the commonly believed myth that men don’t use sex toys. They are, in fact, using them… and more importantly, they like them. With an ever-growing and diverse list of sex toys, coupled with a changing cultural attitude, men are dabbling in the world of toys in droves. So, this week, as per my own advice in my last blog post, I sought out to speak to men about what they like about toys and why they’re using them.
I went online, posted in a few Facebook groups requesting the assistance of male sex toy users, and, to my surprise (and another blow to the male sex myth), I immediately received responses from men who were eager to talk.
Meet John M., Daryl, and Evan. They will be our guides for the time being. To keep things consistent, I asked them all the same questions.
What (or who) got you interested in sex toys?
“I had always seen and heard about things like Fleshlights and thought I wanted to try them. I didn’t actually end up doing so until my partner was looking for one and found one on sale so she bought it for me,” says Daryl.
“Usually it’s my partners that have me interested in specific toys. I’ve been working at an adult novelty store for over a year and that increased my exposure to various products. After my initial introduction to toys, my work experience really helped tailor to my previously discovered interests,” Evan says.
“Exploration and curiosity more so than anything else,” John M. says.
How did you feel before you used them for the first time?
“A sense of apprehension, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?” John M. says.
“For personal use (solo products), a little hesitant before actually trying them. Growing up, I think I internalized a sort of negative view against sex toys and believed that they are replacements and not things to throw in the mix. After a while, it was replaced with excitement,” Evan says.
“Curious, but also rather nervous,” says Daryl.
What do you like about sex toys and why do you use them?
“They’re something different than manual masturbation and generally feel more intense,” says Daryl.
“It changes things up,” John M. says.
“They’re a whole other dimension that you can either throw in the mix in the bedroom or just use on your own body; nothing else can give that sort of sensation. There are a very wide variety of products out there that tailor to varying needs. They add a unique element to whatever activity you may be doing,” Evan says.
Do you prefer using sex toys alone or with a partner?
“Alone,” Daryl says.
“Partner. Even solo toys (ex. masturbators) feel better that way,” says Evan.
“With a partner. It's funny how we tend to look at them like it's a personal thing, but when you use it with a partner, it makes it more hot,” says John M.
What’s your favorite toy?
“My favorite toy that I own is We-Vibe Pivot. But the toy I wish to own is We-Vibe Sync,” says Evan.
“Onahole that's reversible. Actually looks like a candle when it's turned inside out. It consistently gets me off with no issue,” says John M.
“The Fleshlight. Although it’s one of only 3 that I’ve actually used before,” says Daryl.
At the end of the interview, I asked Daryl, Evan, and John M. to rate how comfortable they were talking about sex toys with men and women. Toying with the idea that women are more forthcoming and open about using sex toys, I wanted to see how valid this claim was and if any of them felt uncomfortable talking about toys with fellow men.
I soon discovered there wasn’t any validity to the idea, at least with this group of men. All three gave surprisingly high (meaning they’re comfortable) and equal ratings when speaking to both men and women about toys, so I asked them to explain their ratings.
“I talk to people about sex toys for a living so that has helped a lot in terms of comfortably and owning my sexuality, as well as being involved in discussions about the sexualities and preferences of others,” Evan says. “However, the one thing I do notice is that men tend to internalize the belief that sex toys (specifically solo products like masturbators) act as replacements more so than women. I hear a lot of men saying things like “you have a partner, so you don’t need x” where x is a particular type of product. That is not so much uncomfortable as it is frustrating.”
“Some people just aren't comfortable talking about those things, so it can be difficult,” says John M.
“Depends on whom I’m talking to. If it’s a friend or someone I’m otherwise comfortable with, it’s probably an 8 [out of 10 – 10 being very comfortable]. Otherwise more like a 4,” says Daryl. “I’m a pretty open person so I don’t mind talking about these kinds of things with people I know or someone working in a sex shop or something. I’d only be uncomfortable if it was someone I didn’t know very well and we were talking randomly.”
While my sample size is small, it’s clear men may be increasingly opening up about their experiences with sex toys. Hopefully men like Daryl, John M., and Evan continue dismantling the social stigma clouding male sexuality by having fun, playing between the sheets, and sharing the details ;).
Tell us about your favorite toy in the comments below.