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FEBRUARY 23, 2012 4:45PM

Men Do Not Use Sex Toys (warning: scary photos)

Rate: 46 Flag

cucumber 

 

“Can I borrow your condo for a night?” my friend Penny asked on the phone.

 

“You want to borrow my condo,” I repeated.

 

“Right,” she confirmed.

 

I thought for a moment. “I’m assuming this somehow involves sex, but it doesn’t involve me.”

 

“Right again!” she said, cheerfully.

 

“Alright, on three conditions,” I said. “One, you do it when I’m in Europe. Two, you don’t annoy my neighbors. Three, you change the sheets.”

 

Penny laughed. “No, it’s nothing like that. I want to have a kind of a girls’ night out.”

 

***

 

As a matter of fact, it was a very particular kind of “girls’ night out”. Penny, who lives in western Jersey, was hosting a sex toy party for a dozen women. My place was convenient, since it was in the city and had enough room.

 

I’d read about these events, and thought they sounded pretty dumb. Like Tupperware parties of past generations, they require a hostess to invite her friends to drink alcohol and be a captive audience for a scripted commercial pitch from a company’s sales representative. Except instead of Tupperware, the participants are expected to buy a bunch of “down-there” ware.

 

Can’t people just purchase their tickly toys online? Surely that must be cheaper.

 

I wasn’t supposed to be there for the festivities, and I didn’t want to be. Not least because my on-again-off-again overseas relationship was officially on again, and I thought it imprudent to join a gaggle of tipsy, flushed women in my home, gushing about multi-speed gizmos of varying size, rigidity and intended location of placement.

 

Unfortunately, my travel plans changed. I texted Penny that a Saturday meeting in New York meant I had to fly back early. After 16 hours of connecting flights, hauling my briefcase and old-school folding suit-carrier, I paid the driver, waved to the doorman, pushed the button for my floor and leaned against the side of the elevator. I wanted a bath, a Scotch, a cigar, my sofa and my TV remote, but that was not in the cards.

 

The excited din was audible outside my door. I sighed and put my key in the lock.

 

Upon opening the door, I was greeted by the sight of a dozen seated women laughing uproariously, while a smiling, very professionally dressed lady stood before them. Holding a very impressive facsimile of a male organ in her fist. Said facsimile was buzzing, and undulating in a corkscrew motion.

 

Penny jumped up, nearly spilling her wine on my carpet, and rushed over to hug me. She said nice things about me, introduced me to everyone and led a cheer of thanks for the loan of my apartment.

 

“Glad you’re having a good time,” I said, smiling weakly and grabbing a beer from the fridge. “Cheers. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to unpack and have a shower.”

 

“Do you need any lotion for your shower?” offered a smartass blonde with a sly grin. “We’ve got lots!” And the ladies collapsed again into giggles and guffaws.

 

***

 

Sitting at the desk in my den, I looked at my watch again. Penny had estimated they’d wrap up around midnight. It was still only eleven. The hilarity in my living room continued. Occasionally I’d catch a few louder words and phrases involving particular acts, appliances and anatomical details. I drained my beer and booted up my laptop, thinking this was a distinctly odd way to spend a Friday evening.

 

A knock at the door of my den, and Penny poked her head in. “Got a minute? We need a man’s opinion.”

 

Tired, but freshly scrubbed and shaved, I padded barefoot into the party, sitting on the arm of Penny’s chair. “How can I help?”

 

It turned out they wanted my thoughts about a variety of toys… for men.

 

Well, that’s easy. Men don’t use “toys”. I mean, maybe our gay brothers do. I’d have to ask. And it’s fine for the ladies to employ technological assistants, either solo or with a partner. But for a guy, sticking artificial helpers on, around or in our privates is frankly unnecessary. And a little… unseemly?

 

“Oh, come on!” interjected a comely brunette, holding something apparently called a sleeve. “Are you telling me my husband wouldn’t like it if I used this on him?”

 sleeve   

 

Got something up your “sleeve”?

 

 

I smiled. “If I were your husband, I can think of at least five parts of you I’d prefer you used on me.” I was inordinately pleased with myself when she blushed at that.

 

The sales lady held up a motorized simulated lady receptacle. “This one is a top-seller. Men love it!”

 

If you’ve never actually laid eyes on a disembodied female reproductive organ that looks like a mutated pink flashlight, you can’t know how you’ll react. I snorted and chuckled. It looked absolutely ridiculous.

 

“Seriously?” I asked. “What men? The incarcerated? Monks? Guys surfing YouPorn in their mom’s basement?”

 

I didn’t mean to offend, or to c-block her sales, so I continued. “Ladies, I’m not saying you shouldn’t stock up on loads of gadgets for yourselves. Go nuts. I’m in favor of female climax maximization. But it’s different with guys. This stuff is humiliating for men. All we need is a woman. If necessary, we can take matters into our own hands. And I don’t see any way these silly toys would improve either quality or quantity for us.”

 

That’s when the evening took a terrifying turn. The sales lady told me I was wrong, and she brought out the big guns. The stuff of feverish nightmares and torture chambers. Scary things designed, it seems, to apply raw electricity to the very last regions that should ever encounter voltage.

 

I was informed of the opportunity to enhance my experience via one of these horrible implements:

 wtf    

 

I don’t know what the hell this is, and I don’t want to know.

 

 

sex stun gun 

 

 

Some kind of sex Taser, I think.

 

 

  keep away from me

The Klingons want to electrocute your rectum. Aft shields up!

     jesus h christ   

 

This… thing… is 5 inches long. It’s supposed to be inserted where you pee. I believe it violates the Geneva Conventions.

 

 

On the far side of midnight, the women hugged and cheek-kissed each other on the way out of my place. The sales lady was happy. All of the guests had made orders, or were carrying home plastic bags of future delight. The cute brunette took home a "sleeve" for her husband, the poor man.

 

Penny stayed for awhile to help me clean up. I saw her to the door.

 

“No toys for you, huh?” she grinned.

 

“Never,” I growled.

 

“I’m not surprised,” she said. “And how’s your little English professor doing?”

 

“She’s fine, thank you,” I replied. “How’s Stephen?”

 

“He’s good,” she said, looking away, then back at me. “He’s in Vegas for the weekend.”

 

“In Vegas, is he?”

 

“Yes.”

 

We smiled silently at each other for a heartbeat or two.

 

I leaned down and kissed her on the tip of her nose. “Then it’s a good thing you’ve got that little rabbit in your purse, isn’t it?”

 

 

Now saying odd things on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ManTalkNow

 

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Comments

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Not sure if this country's getting sexier, but I'm fairly certain it's getting stupider.
Yike!
I don't get the toys for women either.
Just give me a good man.
Or a little oil -- no motorized equipment necessary. : )
So now a catheter is a turn on? Seriously?
Sales rep to the ladies: "Oh, this one will make him do *anything*!"

What she didn't say "...to get it off his junk because this puppy HURTS."
"It’s supposed to be inserted where you pee. I believe it violates the Geneva Conventions." HA! Now, that was funny.... Entertaining post-you should have stopped for a beer or two. Your home was dangerous.
there are just so many things wrong with this post that I just dont know where to begin .. my circuits are overloaded.. cant function...
all I can say is that only a gay man wouldnt have taken full advantage of this particular situation.
on yeah and that those parties would be far more interesting if there were live demonstrations and a sampling of the goods. heck they're nonperishable items now right? :p
My friend hosted one of these sex toy parties, and just like a Tupperware party, I was bored out of my mind.

Moreover, this stuff is ridiculously expensive. I'm not against using a fun, little gadget from time to time, but I'm certainly not going to drop $100+ on an undulating, gyrating, vibrating do-dad.

And I don't know one guy who'd use "the sleeve" thing. This stuff is supposed to turn a guy on? I'd like to know who did the research on that. I'm with you, this country's not getting any sexier, but it's definitely getting stupider.
I am sorry, but the Geneva Convention Violator just looks incredibly painful. You are a good guy for loaning your condo, though. I'm guessing no host gift for you. :)
I use one of those yellow squeak duckies for sex...

I squeeze it to signal when I've had enough.

.
His-terical!

That last item? Um, at first... blush... I thought it was to conduct music. I'm all for mutually mischievous play, but I agree - these items look anything but friendly.
My husband and I definitely enjoy the use of such toys. He has as many as I do. Not all men are anti-toy.
And that thin metal rod, its called a sound.
I'm not a monk; I've always been quite satisfied just to be a missionary.
You were right about scary. Those man toys look like something most men would avoid. Its funny how they all have a Darth Vader punishing look about them, even the "Sleeve"
rate with love
Well told! I'd read about these parties and now I know what I'm not missing.
What on earth are the needle nosed pliers for???? Now I'm sure I'm never going to change the fact that I've never attended such a sales pitch, er, party. Poor you!

Lezlie
Nothing like a shiver of fear to stimulate the frisson of sexual danger.... I will not show those photos to my sweetie, I don't want him to need therapy later. I was expecting a photo of a can of Redi Whip. The taser really looks evil.
I bet it's time like these that men wish they were women, because those things are scary.
Tee hee! I thought it was the scorched earth political rhetoric that scared me about the country and now I find out I should in fact be terrified of the toys. Gives us a whole 'bother take on the Toy Story Trilogy, hein?
A used condo - especially one as heavily used as yours - seems like the perfect setting for a sex toys party.
Margaret, do you really think it's appropriate to employ hilarious double-entendres?

Me, too! ;)
An ex-friend of mine sells sex toys. No thanks. Boy toys will do just fine. ;)
Arrrgh! That's supposed to be Big boys with big toys....
Belinda, I wish you many happy encouters with big boys with big toys. Happy encounters are good for America. When I run, that will be a key plank in my platform. This country needs to restore its leadership in happy encounters. Please help make this happen, by sending money to the MTN Super PAC.
All I know is I got a Wii for Christmas. Who knew there were two kinds? Don't get excited, mine was the one you stand on to bowl, play tennis or baseball.
Brianna, I had no idea there were two kinds of Wii, either. I'm wasting precious brain capacity trying to figure out how the heck the "other" kind would work.
Meh. Money isn't what turns me on. Sadly, this is why our country is in such dire straits. People spend tons of the dead presidents and they're still not satisfied. Not with themselves. Not with their country. Not with the mile-high pile of toys they've become bored with...

I've never let income deprivation keep me from happiness. Don't find many manufactured toys requiring batteries or plug-ins as satisfying as a good game of chess, where the Queen dominates.

Toys are tools. Without them, we'd all be unhappy and dissatisfied. If men and women want to put plastic pumps and other man-made vibrators in their orifices, let them! I'm not one to deny others their inalienable rights to be happy/happily satisfied.
Before I go. If I had all the money in the world, I'd not give a single cent to any politician or any party platform. They're deadwood.
Drily reported, hilariously captioned.

The naming of these gizmos intrigues me. There was a British band in the '70s. called The Buzzcocks. I wonder if they copyrighted their name.

That thing called a "sound"? Does it sing? Does its user? Who wants to find out?

And "the sleeve." Back in high school Latin class, shortly after the Visigoths took Rome, we used to snicker at the Latin word for "sheath." The place where a Roman soldier put their "gladius"? You guessed it: "vagina." Pronounced, if you were clueless high school kid (or his equally clueless Latin teacher) "va-geena."
What the HELL is that black contraption?!?!
Toys are to sex what scented candles are to romance. I find it difficult to incorporate the buzzing sound into a credible fantasy scenario.
The "sleeve" thing I've seen marketed in slightly different form as a "Fleshlight". Get it? :)

And as far as I'm concerned, it's sexist if it's ok for a woman to insert a sex toy into herself but it's not ok for a man to insert himself INTO a sex toy. That's just dumb. It's the same principal: friction.

I'm pretty sure, though, that by the time you're using something that you insert into your urethra, you've completely lost the knack of moderation.
As a man, I can't look at these "toys" without thinking of the folk song John Henry: "The captain said to John Henry, I'm gonna bring that steam drill 'round, gonna whup that steel on down, lord God, gonna whup that steel on down/Well, John Henry said, Lord, a man ain't nuthin' but a man but before I let that steam drill beat me on down, gonna die with a hammer in my hand, lord God, gonna die with a hammer in my hand/The man that invented the steam drill, he thought he was doing fine, but John Henry drove 14 feet and the steam drill only made made 9, Lord God, the steam drill only made nine/But John Henry worked so hard that he broke his poor heart and he laid down his hammer and he died, Lord God, he laid down his hammer and he died....
IF I ever buy a sex taser, I'll only use it on Rick Santorum....

To scare the holy crap out of him. =o)

rated
These toys are really scary.

Give me a fluffy feather, I'll rock your world.
And with all due respect (which is very little) to the title, I guess the author assumes that Gay Men aren't Men.

Thanks for that.
@godofbuiscuits, naw, I'm good with gays (of both gender). You might have missed that I said:

"Men don’t use “toys”. I mean, maybe our gay brothers do. I’d have to ask."

I'm straight, and write from that perspective is all. Gay men are men, alright, with all the joys and perils. Read some of my other stuff, and you'll see I may be an a-hole at times, but I've got no problem with the gay enterprise.
Men scared of sex toys! How precious! And a little sad. Too bad you couldn't work up the courage to try one or two new things, you might like it. But you'll never try. You appeal to more people when you simply point and laugh.
@Danny: You may be right. It's possible that, in eschewing male toys, there's a whole world of sex fun I'm missing out on. And you're definitely right that on occasion I enjoy pointing and laughing at things that strike me as a bit ridiculous.

But please come back and read my blog again sometime. I have other ways of being irritating, too!
Well, some of these will definitely put the sex business out of...er...wait it may increase business it if they can actually read the instructions.
Hilarious, very well-executed piece. Those implements scare me too!
After nearly a decade of reading Salon it still has the sexual maturity of a Freshman Frat Boy.

It's one thing to express genuine curiosity about kink, but to point and laugh? I guess I shouldn't have expected more from Salon, after the article about the woman who worked at a sex toy store who was outraged when a gent wanted to buy a large dildo for his female partner's ass. But this article is just puerile garbage.

Chastity, electrical play (that device is a Little Devil, great for bumping up adrenaline), butt plugs... nothing new here, but you probably embarrassed some people from even trying something they might like.

And it's called "urethral sounding". Do your fucking homework.

/facepalm/

Oh, never mind, I just realized this is from a column called "ManTalk".

Thanks for supporting the race to the bottom, Salon.
@AnswersComeInDreams:

Thank you for the comment. Now do you think you could maybe grow up a tad?

Is it really worth posting an overly earnest comment on a dumb post like mine? Clearly, you take your kink pretty seriously. Good for you. I don't. But I'll queue up, carry a sign and defend your own right to do so.

But, really, comments like this? "And it's called "urethral sounding". Do your fucking homework."

You expect the average joe to learn about "urethral sounding"?

Seriously?
My husband would totally shut down if I asked him to use one of the many toys on the market.
I was laughing so hard my daughter thought I was crying! R
I have a guy friend who talks often about his problems with me that he has at home. and I know he uses one of those flesh light like things. I was mortified to hear about it at first, but he wants to remain faithful to his wife who won't have sex anymore. so that's his option for the past 20 years. he's only 55 now, but they stopped having sex at 35. He's a good guy and I agree he that's his choice to use a toy. I don't see why women can use them and men can't. What's up with that?
@anitachristine:

Wow, what a tough situation your friend's in. Kudos to him for finding a way to make his marriage work in the face of something that would shatter most relationships. I have a friend in a similar circumstance, and have been thinking of writing about it.

Now, as to your question about why "toys" are OK for women, but not for men, here are several answers:

1. Because men have less "need" (not the best word, but it'll do) for "toys". Most men can climax, on their own or with a partner, very easily. Within seconds. A widespread problem, to my mind, actually. If you don't make sex with your partner a longer lasting experience, rather than a brief incident, you're on your way to not *having* a partner.

2. Because men have less potential to work with. Yes, I know there are guys who claim they can have unlimited orgasms, but I'm very skeptical that's true in real life. I've never talked to a man who can legitimately have a dozen or two dozen orgasms during a single romantic episode. In my experience, every woman can (though seldom via penetration alone).

3. Because somehow "toys" for women just seems entirely normal, practical and a sexy thing to do for themselves and with their partners. Whereas "toys" for men seems weirder. It just does.

Look at it this way: You're a man. You meet an attractive young lady. Things progress over time. Eventually she reveals she has a few "toys" she likes to play with. Are you creeped out? No. You're delighted.

Now flip it. The man you're dating shows you his collection of contraptions he uses to self-pleasure himself by sticking things on, around and in himself. Not quite the same, I'd say.

So to sum this point up, sex toys are not for men. Because I said so.

4. Because I've been known to overstate a case, on occasion. just a little bit. It's more fun that way. ;)
Holy crap! Laughed so hard I snorted & farted at the same time. The Welshman was thoroughly amused! Need to send the saleslady's toy catalog to my ex - he bought more toys for himself then I had makeup...... twisted deviant he was...... but he makes for a damned good laugh now! Well done! Pass the batteries please....
Gave you a rate to get you on the feed, as well as the most viewed. It's going to be a cold winter, methinks.
Man, some of the devices appear to be right of the Medieval Educational Institute for the Desensitized Man. I guess we really miss the good old days -- but not this much, this far into our past .... Thanks for sharing.
Man, some of the devices appear to be right of the Medieval Educational Institute for the Desensitized Man. I guess we really miss the good old days -- but not this much, this far into our past .... Thanks for sharing.
Wow, this post was hilarious! And whatever happened to having an open mind anyway?

Besides, my Pops always said, "Don't knock it until you try it."
Is the thing at the top a purple cucmber Man? The other stuff sounds kind of gross to me. As long as I have my husband, then I am good. This was enlightening though. Did you know they use to treat hysteria during the Victorian times by having a woman go to a doctor's office three or more times a week to be sexually stimulated. I had a professor friend in California who wrote a book on, "Hysteria." I bought it but we had some difference of opinions. Hope you and your on and off again lady stay on. I am on your side. :-D
Great column-as the "toys" progressed in their degree of difficulty to imagine incorporating into the dance, I did get some involuntary spasms from the vacinity of my chair. I agree most boys don't need toys.
There is not doubt in my mind if a woman found out that a perspective date had an inflate-a-date or pocket vagina there would not only be a cancelation but, an APB out at the water cooler.
Awesomeness in spades. Well done, sir. Why would we need toys? We've got real live women to work with. Technologists cannot improve on them no matter how hard they try.

Great piece. Truly entertaining.
Je suis à court de mots. La sexualité d'une femme est pour elle d'en décider ..
@ John Blumenthal: Yes, that's correct. For some, a catheter is a turn-on in the right setting. It's called medical play.

@MTN: You're partially right. Sex toys are not for men... who have been brainwashed to believe that a man's pleasure means nothing outside of a woman. Conversely, women are taught to believe that hogwash as well as the bullshit that a man who pleasures himself with other methods and implements than a hand or a woman's orifice is some sort of freak or loser. It's a ridiculous view of masculinity, and I'm sorry to hear that you're under its influence. As a straight male, I can assure you that there are plenty of straight men out there who, regardless of the guilt and shame they were taught they should feel over it, have been creating, experimenting with, and yes, even inserting (gasp!) their own sex toys since they were children. Thanks for mansplaining the reasons toys are not for me, though. Clearly, I should stay in my sexual shell and start feeling like less of a man because I might like to use a butt plug, an e-stim unit, or a urethral sound.

Do I expect the average joe to learn about urethral sounding? No, not in this puritanical, insecure, and ill-informed culture. You're funny, but far too clueless to be taken seriously when you profess to be able to speak for all (or any) of straight manhood. Stick to what you know - which, sexually, is very little.
Justinius, I'm not trying to make you feel bad about your particular interests. Fact is, as far as I'm concerned, as long as nobody gets hurt, people should have as much fun as possible, and do whatever they like in their sex lives.

People get turned on by all kinds of bizarre and (to me) incomprehensible things. I think of a lover's body as an inexhaustible playground - with the inexpressibly wonderful benefit that the things I do are intended specifically to make her deliriously happy.

But if sticking things down your weenie is something that works for you? More power to you. Go stick things down your weenie.

I wrote this post about a funny experience. I'm a half-assed blogger, not a physician, so you should probably take my musings in that context.
@ MTN: I appreciate the humility, and I'm sorry if that came off as excessively harsh. The problem is that you made generalizations, not that you yourself reacted negatively or even amusedly to the sex toys. If exploring in those ways doesn't do it for you, more power to you as well. Recording your reactions and applying them to yourself would have been more appropriate than (please pardon the feminist jargon) assuming that your privileged straight white male experience and opinion was the norm for males (or anyone!) in general. Perhaps one of the ways you might fine tune your half-assed bloggery is to work on peeking (or leaping, if you're adventursome enough) through the veil of cultural indoctrination and understanding that making broad statements can be tantamount to disparaging others for being different from you. Sometimes it truly is about what one says, not how one says it.
I haven't laughed this much in a long time. Hilarious! Thank you so much!
Just watched a terrific movie on the origins of the vibrator called 'Hysteria.' In the 1800's these doctors were getting women off via their fingers to induce "paroxysms" that released hysterical symptoms. Unfortunately, the business was so successful, that the poor doctor's hand wouldn't function anymore. Thus, he realized that his friend's electric feather duster invention might be useful for dusting out the cobwebs, if you know what I mean. It was so successful that eventually the vibrators were sold in the Sears Roebuck catalog for home use.
ahahaha against geneva conventions. :-D
You don't know what you're missing out on, MTN.
Natalie, I'm pretty sure I do. But I'm willing to listen to arguments. Persuade me I'm wrong, if you can.
Wow. Hate to be debbie downer, but these women need to broaden their brains (which vibrators and other instruments of torture utilized "down there" will NOT do). Our bodies were not designed to be sexualized after menopause in women and in men, well, who knows? When it stops working? I think that's a strong hint.
My favorite sex toy is the Rubik's Cube! I haven't solved it yet, but when I do I expect the orgasm to be titanic!
Your optimism, patience and determination do you credit, M. Chariot.

I feel much the same way about when I ultimately solve women.
Our bodies were not designed to be sexualized after menopause in women and in men, well, who knows?

Oh, really?

As for the toys, I'm so glad the sex toy industry has long since woken up and put some decent options for those of us of the male persuasion on the market! Though the only urethral sound that I'm interested in is the one made when I flip up the toilet seat and take my first pee of the day!
thefuddler, that comment from IceRune struck a discordant note to me, too.

Though I can't claim to have direct experience with post-menopausal women, I suspect a fair percentage of ladies at that age and stage might in fact retain a very healthy interest in being "sexualized".
Are you guys kidding? Why on earth do men need sex toys? Don't they consider women living with them? I believe that those men who use sex toys are just insane.
Thank you so much for this. I now know exactly what to bring along on first dates to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Good writing, funny too. Maybe I'm a prude, but it seems love has been replaced by the need for seemingly unlimited intensity of sensory thrills. I can't imagine a level of communication higher than deep love, but apparently that is beyond the reach of many, if not most couples.

So, they settle for the best reasonable facsimile thereof, the sense of touch taken to extremes. To these couples I say good luck. It won't be long before your significant others will begin wondering if the thrills aren't greater with someone else.
This brings to mind descriptions of probes people claim aliens use when they get taken to the mothership. Agreed, on the observation about our gay brothers. "Aft shields up!" is something they probably don't say all that often.
I do believe that Darla C and I are related.

My FWB's and other Friendettes enjoy a miriad of toys and I'm one of those boring, advenurous straight guys.
There's obviously a market for these products otherwise the companies wouldn't be making them - but give me a good man any day! :o)
Doesn't everybody have a 'themed' evening? Fresh veg in bed sounds good to me. Could be a 'bugger' when you wake_up the next morning though. Best have the maid arrive late?
This ....again.... ugh!
And you all bought???
Nice piece of writing!