Thank you, David Pittle, for continuing to review sex toys for men here. My readers and I are grateful! Readers: your comments are always welcome. — Joan Price
Guest post by David M. Pittle, Ph.D., M.Div
Erotic Electro-Stimulation — what a charge! Attach electrodes to your genitals and get stimulated through electrical energy. Eugh! But if it could be a shockingly great form of sexual stimulation, why not?Although I consider myself sexually sophisticated, Electro-Stimulation – known as E-Stim — was beyond my experience or knowledge. I wanted to try it myself. Two of the leading vendors were kind enough to send me their units: ElectraStim from Cyrex, an English company, and Erostek, an American firm.
My first action was to try them on myself and then to enlist another man and two women to volunteer to experiment. These are not just men’s or women’s products, they are great for both. (I had fantasies of finding a couple to try it together, but that got too complicated.)
ElectraStim “Flick” EM60
The ElectraStim “Flick” EM60 is a small device, 2.2 x 3.5 inches and only ¾ inch thick. Nicely styled, it has a soft, flocked back and a well-designed control panel. It felt good to hold and use. It came with two penis rings as well as a vaginal probe and several stick-on electrode pads like your physician uses for an EKG. The EM60 has 24 intensity levels and seven different patterns, which you can set to your liking. Like all E-Stim devices, the stimulation is not necessarily steady. And when you hold it and “flick” your hand, it provides an extra jolt of power. The EM60 is a good choice for a first experience because it comes on slowly, but you can build it up to almost full strength with levels of pleasure all along the way.
This is a very different device from the ElectraStim. The Erostek ET232 looks a lot less sophisticated in packaging, but it packs many more functions and much more power. There are 15 patterns including one that responds to voice command. The Erostek ET232 arrived with conductive penis bands, and a ball shaped insert for use in the vagina or anus. Enough variation to please almost anyone.
Testing the Devices
To get the best idea of what worked, we began with the EM60. We placed electrode pads near the base of the penis. Our second test was with the penis rings or bands. For the women, we used the pads on either side of the clitoris and then the vaginal probe. After testing the first unit—and some well-deserved rest–we repeated the test with the Erostek ET232.
The results were amazing. The women had orgasms with both devices with the pads. With the vaginal probe, the results were even more spectacular. One of the women had exquisite feelings leading up to each of several orgasms. Changing the orientation of the probe to be either next to her G-spot or side to side made a difference in the feeling, not less or more, but pleasantly different.
For the men too, the results were spectacular. The penis rings or bands produced the greatest pleasure. This increased with one band just below the glans and the other around the scrotum. One man said that he had two full orgasms in a row before “finishing.”
All volunteer testers liked both devices. They praised the EM60 for being easy to get into and providing a soft and comfortable feeling that could be taken to a high level. They liked the Erostek as more aggressive and stronger with a different feeling to it.
Is E-Stim safe? You must use it correctly, which includes using lubricant and keeping the electrodes below the waist. Never use it if you have an implanted pacemaker or defibrillator. Read the instructions and follow the cautions. It should be as safe as your masturbation sleeve or vibrator if you follow the rules. In our testing, we measured blood pressure and heart rate before and after each test. Both heart rate and blood pressure do rise in any sexual activity, but there were no instances of anything out of the ordinary.
(Note from Joan: Of course, we do not give medical advice here, so consult your doctor to be sure. But be prepared: your doctor may have no idea what you’re talking about. Educating doctors is a good thing.)
I can say confidently that these “beginner” models from ElectraStim and Erostek are great products that will keep working for years. They are an investment for long term sexual pleasure. Which to choose? You won’t be disappointed with either.
– David M. Pittle, Ph.D., M.Div., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues.
(I am sad to tell you that my friend, sex therapist David Pittle died December 2017. We value his sex toy reviews. Read more reviews by David Pittle)
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.
Tenga Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy: Sex Toys for Men
Guest post by David Pittle, Ph.D.
While most of the male masturbation market has churned out artificial vaginas, Tenga’s Flip Hole is a real improvement.
The Flip Hole is designed to open up completely. This allows you to lay your penis down on one side, then close it up for use. Or you can close it with the clip and enter the hole.
Each comes in a package with the texture side out and on a mounting stand. For use, we take it off the stand, a dowel that goes up the middle, and turn it inside-out. (Actually it comes inside-out, so we turn it “inside-in.” See the photo where the Module texture is partially turned.With the exception of the Zen, I found all the textures pleasant and virtually indistinguishable. The Zen had a softer and gentler effect—but the difference was not extreme. Of course, you might have a different preference.
David M. Pittle, Ph.D., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues. Visit his website here.
Urologist Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS, is the author of Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health (Del Monaco Press, 2011). It’s an upbeat and even entertaining guide to the complexities, myths, facts, and vagaries of owning a penis (or, in my case, liking penises and being endlessly fascinated by them). Dr. Danoff covers how they work and what’s going on when they don’t work—psychologically as well as physiologically.
My male readers often write me with age-related questions about their penises: what’s a “normal” change with age vs. what’s a medical problem, how they can deal with erection difficulties, how to negotiate new needs and issues with a partner. “We are tragically ill-informed about the penis,” says Dr. Danoff, and he aims to change that.
Although this book is not specifically aimed at our age group, all of it applies to us, and I guarantee you’ll say, “I didn’t know that” several times as you read, even if you’ve owned a penis for 50, 60, or 70 years.
I invited Dr. Danoff to answer questions that specifically address men age 60+ and the women in their lives. I welcome your comments.
Q: What is your big message to our older men?
A: Sex is good for you. It maintains overall physical strength and cardiovascular health, and most of all, it keeps you invigorated. A man’s penis is there to serve him from puberty to old age.
Q: What are the most common misunderstandings that men age 60+ have about their penises or about their sexuality in general? What do you wish all men knew as they aged?
A: By far, the most frequent complaint I hear from men is that they do not have the same level of sexual desire they used to have. It takes longer to get an erection, it takes longer to ejaculate, it takes longer to get aroused again after they make love, and their erections are not as firm. These conditions are all predictable changes that occur as men get older.
Attitude is the key to penis longevity. My super-potent patients tell me that sex gives them as much joy at 70 as it did at 20. Some say the sex is even better! Equal pleasure can be obtained from occasional, prolonged intercourse with one orgasm as with frequent, rapid intercourse with multiple orgasms.
All men, as they age, deserve active, healthy sex lives as long as they remain physically fit. Do not expect to do at 60 what you did at 40. Adjust your sexual activities as your body changes, just as you adjust other activities. Look upon the adjustment as both a new challenge and a new opportunity.
As you age, learn to use your mind and imagination to make up in creativity what you may lack in physical strength. As long as you are able to breathe, move your extremities, maintain relative control over your bodily functions, remain alert enough to identify the date and day of the week, and sustain a positive mental outlook, you can continue to exercise your penis power indefinitely.
Q: What would you say to many men age 60+ who tell me that they don’t get good information or direction from their urologists when they report undependable or nonexistent erections? They are commonly told, “Well, you’re older now,” or “It’s ED,” without a medical workup to see whether some underlying condition is causing the ED.
A: Find another urologist who is knowledgeable about erectile dysfunction and is willing and able to thoroughly evaluate you. A comprehensive evaluation, including a full cardiovascular evaluation, by a qualified urologist is essential. Endocrine issues, such as low testosterone or unrecognized diabetes, can then be treated, and erectile dysfunction will improve. Knowledge is power. There are many treatments on the urologic menu for erectile dysfunction, but first you need a proper diagnosis to identify the underlying cause. Treatment is both available and effective in almost all cases and will result in satisfactory erections.
Q: Many men would rather sever their own leg than admit to a doctor that they are experiencing erectile difficulties. Why is it important to see a doctor before self-treating with drugs or other assists?
A: Many serious medical conditions that are first manifested by erectile difficulties go unrecognized. It is absolutely essential to get a full evaluation by a qualified urologist in all cases of erectile dysfunction in order to determine the presence or absence of some serious (or not so serious) medical problem and treat it accordingly. For example, if low serum testosterone is found, testosterone replacement therapy can give spectacular results. Under no circumstances should a man self-treat his erectile dysfunction with over-the-counter preparations without first determining the presence or absence of an underlying medical condition that is correctable.
Q: How can women enhance their partner’s and their own sexual pleasure when erections and intercourse are not the main events?
A: Most importantly, do not think old! Sexual pleasure is all about attitude. If your mind is strong and your partner’s mind is strong, intimacy and sex without vaginal penetration can be enormously pleasurable. The key is not to lament what you have lost. Be grateful for what you still have and make the most of it. Age is not a deterrent to great sex. Rather, it is a challenge and an opportunity.
If you keep your enthusiasm, you can compensate for or even delay the effects of aging. You do not stop having sex because you are old—you get old because you stop having sex! Talking candidly with your partner about aging is the best way to find a solution for maintaining a healthy sex life.
Q: What else do you want women to understand about their male partners?
A: Older men are just as penocentric as younger men are, even though capacity may be diminished. I would encourage older women to become more “penis oriented.” Older women who are penis oriented have more fun and also have better marriages, more faithful partners, and greater personal fulfillment in all aspects of their lives. If you believe that each partner has the mutual responsibility to satisfy the other’s needs, then it follows that you will hold up your end of the bargain as a woman by making your partner’s penis one of your top priorities.
Being penis oriented does not imply a belittlement of female sexuality. It simply means learning to understand and accommodate an older man’s penis needs by approaching that task with all of the pride and skill that you would bring to any other endeavor. I assure the older woman that if you take the steps to become informed, you and your man will reap rewards you have only dreamed about.
Images are from Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health by Dudley Seth Danoff, MD. ©2011 Dudley Seth Danoff. Reprinted by permission of Dudley Seth Danoff. Copies of the book are available at your local bookstore or may be ordered through Amazon.com.