Until a year ago, at age 75, my only anal experiences consisted of childhood enemas administered by my mother and prostate examinations given by my doctor. Prostate toys never crossed my mind.
In my naiveté I never considered my anus or my prostate to be erogenous zones. But then I read The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners by Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian, and my curiosity was piqued. Wishing to explore and expand my own sexual repertoire, I obtained three prostate toys: Pleasure Plug 1 from Fuze, Pure Wand from njoy, and Helix Trident from Aneros.
I tried each toy with much trepidation and lots of lube, not knowing what to expect. Those initial experiences were disappointing. I had anticipated an immediate “buzz” or feeling of intense sexual excitement, and when I didn’t, I thought prostate play was not for me.
I left those three toys unused in a drawer for many months. Then, still curious, I read Joan Price’s interview of Charlie Glickman, “Prostate Play for Pleasure and Health.” I decided to give the toys another try. This time around, “curiosity thrilled the cat!”
So what had changed?
- I learned that a host of other prostate owners derive great pleasure from stimulation of the prostate.
- I realized that I needed to experiment more.
- I understood that lying prostrate to access my prostate—the position I’d used in my earlier exploration — wasn’t the best position. If instead I inserted the toy while standing, I could alter its placement easily with a hand free for nipple and/or penis play. Introducing any of the toys into my anus from that position brought my penis almost instantly erect, the more so when I moved the toy around or in and out. None of these actions alone produced an orgasm, but they primed me, and a well-lubed hand job led quickly to ejaculation.
The three toys are different.
- The Pleasure Plug is essentially a 4-1/2-inch silicone butt plug—it’s straight, only slightly flexible, and because of the shape, it doesn’t reach my prostate.
- The Pure Wand is 7-1/2 inches of stainless steel and weighs a hefty 2 pounds. It is curved, so it can be positioned to touch the prostate directly.
- The Helix Trident is 4 inches long, made of non-porous FDA-Approved Acetal plastic. It features a special Aneros design that stimulates multiple anal sites. (See more Aneros prostate massagers here.)
Both the Pure Wand and the Helix Trident can be maneuvered to push on or stroke the prostate to produce extremely pleasurable sensations. Those sensations are quite distinct from penis-oriented ones—they’re deeper, subtler, and more diffuse.
My newfound knowledge led to a fantasy. I imagined how it might feel to insert either the Pure Wand or the Helix Trident while standing erect and having a partner perform fellatio as I wiggled the toy about. To my great joy this fantasy came true! Having inserted the Helix Trident with plenty of lube, I stood over my partner seated on a chair. She played with my penis lovingly while I maneuvered Helix Trident in my anus, and before long I exploded in a wonderful orgasm. The orgasm was so powerful that on release, it mostly extruded the toy!
At age 76 I’ve discovered my prostate and a whole new world of sexual pleasure that I didn’t even know existed. If you experiment, you may also be equally fortunate.
— Shamus MacDuff, age 76, was oblivious to the delights of sex toys for his own pleasure until about two years ago. He’s been making up for lost time! Read Shamus MacDuff’s other posts.
questions you thought you couldn’t ask anybody. I interviewed Charlie Glickman by email on topics of particular interest to our age group:
Q: What are the benefits of prostate play for a man over 50, particularly?
CG: Besides the fact that it can feel amazing, there are a few great reasons to try prostate play. First, it gives you new possibilities and choices when it comes to sex. A lot of folks go their whole lives having sex in more or less the same way, which is rather like eating the same food all the time. If it works for you, great! But if you’d like to try something new, it’s a really fun option.
Second, a lot of men find that prostate play really is the male G-spot. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of pleasing your partner with G-spot play, imagine how much fun you and your partner can have when you reverse that.
In addition, there are some important possible health benefits. I should stress that these haven’t been scientifically proven, mostly because there’s not a lot of funding for this kind of thing. But many men have shared their stories and there do seem to be some patterns. Massage increases blood flow, which helps bring oxygen to your cells and keeps them healthy. And since prostate massage can be sexually arousing, that increases circulation even more! It also helps relieve muscle tension in the pelvic floor.
A lot of people, especially men, have tight pelvic muscles, which can lead to mobility difficulties and even prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate that can be caused by muscles squeezing the gland. Massage reduces that. Prostate massage can also break up biofilms, which are a protective coating that bacteria can form, much like plaque on your teeth. By breaking them up, massage helps your body’s defenses protect you.
And lastly, prostate massage gives you greater awareness of your prostate, so if you get an infection, you’ll notice it sooner and get treatment.
Since about 50% of men at age 50 have an enlarged prostate, they might have difficulty urinating or have the urge to urinate frequently, especially at night. Massage can reduce those symptoms, though most men find they need to keep doing it regularly. If you prefer to do it solo, an Aneros Prostate Massager is perfect for hands-free massage. How often can you do something that’s good for you and feels great?
Q: How does prostate play enrich sex if erections are undependable?
CG: Exploring sexual pleasures that don’t depend on erections gives you many more choices when you want to have sex. And since one reason erections can be tricky is that stress and anxiety interfere with them, knowing that you don’t have to have an erection to have fun can actually make erections easier. So by helping men let go of their worries around erections, prostate play opens up lots of new directions.
Q: How can a man suggest prostate stimulation to his female partner if he fears she will think anal play is “gross” or “dirty”?
CG: Fear of “the mess” is one of the big three concerns we heard from men and their partners when we wrote The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure. Contrary to a lot of myths, the rectum (the last several inches of the digestive system) isn’t a “holding tank.” In general, there won’t be much there until you have that “gotta go to the bathroom” feeling. If your diet doesn’t have enough fiber or if you take a medication that affects your digestion, there might be a small amount left behind, but it’s easy to take care of that with an enema.
Enemas aren’t hard to do, but there are some tips for making them work better. Check out this page on our website for some suggestions. And of course, we have lots more to offer in the book.
Q: As you speak to audiences about your book, what questions/ concerns/ stories keep coming up for our older age group?
CG: It varies a lot. Many older men have come to see how stereotypical definitions of masculinity are holding them back in their lives and are ready to explore new ways of defining who they are. These guys are often more willing to explore anal play and prostate pleasure without letting those notions get in the way. On the other hand, other men are still very locked into these beliefs, which often keeps them from discovering how much fun prostate play can be. So we hear stories from both ends of that spectrum.
Q: I imagine you also encounter negativity from some. What keeps you going?
CG: Knowing that right now, somebody is having a great time because of our book is a huge inspiration. I don’t think anything works for everyone, so the fact that there are some negative responses isn’t a big deal. I know how many people we’ve reached and who have told us that the book has changed their sex lives. And that’s amazing.
Charlie Glickman PhD is a sexuality speaker, trainer, writer, blogger, and coach. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and has been working in this field for over 20 years. His areas of focus include sex & shame, sex-positivity, queer issues, masculinity & gender, communities of erotic affiliation, and many sexual & relationship practices. Charlie is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Find out more about him at www.charlieglickman.com or on Twitter and Facebook.
One of my favorite sex nerds, Dr. Debby Herbenick, recently retweeted something that I’ve been thinking about for a while:
True. @hotaction: “Everyone should spend some time looking at photos of naked old people because that’s what the future looks like.”
— Dr. Debby Herbenick (@mysexprofessor)
Today is the 20th anniversary of the date that I met my partner. In the last two decades, we’ve both changed a lot. We’re both much more secure and solid in who we are. We’ve grown and challenged each other to overcome many of the habits that caused friction in our lives and in our connections with other people. We’ve learned many, many ways to support our relationship. And yes, our bodies have changed, too. While I’d love to have the physical resilience that I used to have, I wouldn’t trade my current life for the one I had back then. I needed that ability to bounce back- without it, I never would have survived the drama I caused myself and others.
After two decades with Elizabeth, I think she’s more beautiful than ever before and I’m more drawn to her than I could have imagined when we first met. And I think about the many people who stop being attracted to their partners and trade them in for someone younger. This seems to be more common for men, but I’ve also seen women do the same thing in increasing numbers. While I’m fully supportive of people creating the relationships they want and ending them when they no longer serve them, I can’t help but wonder about our tenacious grip on the idea that younger is better and how that affects things.
In a world that only presents the latest 18-25 year olds as sexy, it’s a challenge to not compare oneself or one’s partner with that fantasy. Personally, I’ve found that became easier when I stopped watching TV and reading the drivel that passes for news (and don’t even get me started on popular magazines). But it takes more than that. Every time you compliment someone’s appearance by telling them that they look young, you’re reinforcing the idea that we lose value as we age. I feel sadness around that because it encourages us to deny our histories, to pretend we’re something we aren’t, and to create an image of who we wish we were rather than celebrating who we’ve become. And let’s not forget that many of the cosmetic treatments to make us look younger don’t work all that well and are promoted with ads that are photoshopped like crazy. My willing suspension of disbelief snapped a long time ago.
Maybe I’ll have something different to say in another 20 years. But right now, I think that the physical expression of experience and growth is incredibly sexy. It’s an outward manifestation of the individual’s evolution. Personally, I find that much more attractive than someone who strives to look like they’re still 23. This is something that many of us have to practice. When the only images that we see define attractiveness as equivalent to youth, it can be difficult to not make comparisons.
I’ve spoken with quite a few people who are convinced that nobody will want to have sex with them because they have grey hair, or wrinkles, or scars, or stretch marks, or health concerns, or any of the other effects of age. I feel sadness that they’re so sure that they’re unattractive to others because they’re unattractive to themselves. I wonder how much of that comes from never having thought of people over a certain age as desirable. I wonder how much of that comes from the fact that so much of the breathless commentary about attractiveness (especially female attractiveness) is tied up in how young someone looks. What a waste of the incredible beauty and wisdom that surrounds us, if only we could see it.
If Elizabeth and I are fortunate, we will have lots more time together. And someday, we may get to be like the people in this photograph. I look at it and see something to be celebrated. I also know that many people will look at it and feel disgust, shame, or squicked. So what are you going to do when you get to be that age? How are you going to feel about yourself or your partner(s)? Will you be able to be naked with your partner without feeling self-disgust or shame?
The time to start thinking about older people being sexy is right now. This is the time to stop shaming elders who express desire or who want to have sex. This is the time to stop mocking their bodies or describing them negatively. When you get older, you’ll be struggling with a lot of cultural momentum and the longer you go along with it, the harder it’ll be when you finally get around to resisting (if you do). That’s especially true for women and their partners, given the extra pressure and judgement attached to youth and attractiveness for women. But really, we’re all affected by the idea that younger is better.
Instead of thinking of someone as “looking good for their age,” how about simply letting them “look good”? Instead of telling someone that they look so young, compliment them on something specific like their hairstyle or their outfit. And instead of saying insulting things about older people’s sexuality, acknowledge the feeling as your own judgment. There’s a huge difference between “that’s gross” and “I feel discomfort.” The more we can change how we think and feel about elders and sexuality, the better off we’ll be if and when we get there.
I also highly recommend Joan Price’s book Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex. Even if you’re not there yet, there’s a good chance that you will be and many of the sexual concerns that can arise are much easier to deal with when you aren’t surprised by them. Joan interviewed and quoted lots of medical professionals, sex educators, and therapists, so it’s like you’re getting the benefit of a whole panel of experts in one book. It’s amazing.
Good Vibrations, an
occasional university professor, and a sexuality educator. He teaches and
writes about sex-positivity, sex & shame, sexual practices and communities,
relationships, and other related topics. Check him out at his website, twitter, or on Facebook.