To say I enjoy a good wank is a bit of an understatement, and seeing as this is #MasturbationMonth I thought I should write about my favourite topic.

Like most kids growing up, I quickly learned, applied and followed a masturbation routine which sounded more like a doctor’s advice for taking medication – wank twice a day during the week, three times a day at weekends – a routine which I still follow when my sexual droughts seem to stretch twice around the world, and even when they don’t.

Either way, I’ve become quite an expert at getting myself off in a variety of ways, scenarios and time limits; whether it’s a speed wank with 10 minutes to spare or enough edging to burst a blood vessel, I’ve got it covered.

And yet, despite my masturbation proliferation, it was only recently that I tried using a toy to help me on my merry way. That wasn’t because I was prudish or unimaginative but there were three main reasons for my delay:

1 – The Need

I knew toys existed and I imagined they felt pretty damn good, but considering I’d been spunking quite adequately with just the firm grip of one hand (my left, despite being a right-hander) a toy always seemed a bit unnecessary.

If it ain’t broke, and all that.

2  – The Perception

Not my own as such, but certainly others. It didn’t really become apparent until later in life, when the topic of sexual habits became a teeny-tiny bit more relaxed with friends, but through late night, drunken conversations and half-cut attempts to out-smut each other it became clear that their opinions on male toys ranged from mockery to disgust. As if only the desperate, sad and lonely used them.

And finally –

3 – The Look

OK, this one was mostly on me and I doubt I’m alone. Whenever I heard about male sex toys I could only imagine blow up sex dolls and vibrating vaginas – all squeaky plastic, gaping holes and stunted limbs which looked like they’d be better suited to a Hammer Horror film.

The first two issues were (excuse the pun) easily overcome by just not giving any fucks – I’m open-minded enough (and secretive enough) to work my way around them – and the third was a little more revealing once I began looking into the range available.

There are still plenty of horror shows out there, but I managed to find three which varied a lot in terms of design – from pretty sleek to fucking weird – and it made me think that perhaps other guys were missing out because of the same assumption so here I am giving a wildly simplistic view on three of them.

The worst offender is my first toy – the Fleshlight. It’s one of the best selling toys for men and while there’s no doubt it’s great to play with, it also comes with the highest embarrassment factor if found.

Yes, they provide a cap for discretion but it still has FLESHLIGHT stamped across the side in large, friendly letters so there’s absolutely no chance anyone’s ever going to mistake it for a torch (at least I think that’s what it’s trying to pass itself off as). And if anyone peeks inside they’ll be greeted by the sight of bulbous, pink, fleshy looking interior with sculpted pussy lips smiling up at you like Audrey II from Little Shop Of Horrors.

OK, a disembodied vagina is never going to look that appealing, but it sort of begs the question – why bother designing it to look that way in the first place? No-one’s ever going to confuse the LELO Ina 2 Rabbit Vibrator for a real penis, but it’s design is enough to hint at what it’s meant to represent without trying to look literally like a cock. The smooth surface and curves actually make it more appealing but the Fleshlight goes down the most obvious route and ends up looking like a cross between a Xenomorph’s mouth and the Penis Worms from King Kong. Honestly – it wouldn’t look out of place in a Hellraiser movie.

Fleshlight

You wouldn’t want to put your penis into any of these things, so why design a toy which looks like all three combined?
You wouldn’t want to put your penis into any of these things, so why design a toy which looks like all three combined?

My second purchase, the Hand Solo, goes some way to rectifying the visual horror show of the Fleshlight, although it’s probably more likely to appeal to guys for the brilliantly punny Star Wars title and the groan-worthy references across the packaging than its design.

“…rub the contoured inner sleeve up and down your light saber…”

Yes, the Star Wars innuendoes are stretched so thin that even Carry On films would have rejected them for being too lame, but at least it has fun and the design deliberately avoids trying to resemble female anatomy by attaching a bullet vibrator to a flexible, bump-lined wrap which you hold around your cock as you wank.

A simpler toy which focuses on doing the job while looking fairly neat, the Hand Solo ticks a lot of boxes even if it is a little weak when turned on. It also eats its way through batteries – and they’re not just AAAs but some pissing fiddly type which you’ll struggle to find when picking up milk from the local shop. But it’s colourful and subtle enough that if found people might mistake it for a massage device and not a silicon sex taco. That’s gotta count for something.

With the Hand Solo - there’s no doubt about who shot (their load) first
With the Hand Solo – there’s no doubt about who shot (their load) first

Of the three I own, the Cobra Libre II definitely rates as my favourite for both pleasure and design. It’s incredible powerful (if a little noisy) and although its name makes you think of Jack Black dressed as a mexican wrestler, it looks like a Tron Light Cycle with glowy buttons and a magnetic charger – it’s the toy of the future!

Beautifully curved and compact, the Cobra Libre II is sleek and solid. You want to run your fingers over its surface as much as jamming it onto your cock; you want to feel the difference in texture between the solid plastic body and the flexible silicon upper casing. It looks pretty cool and avoids the issue the Fleshlight failed at so spectacularly by understanding the entrance is required but doesn’t have to be so blatant.

It also feels like a solid piece of kit and one which actually takes pride in its appearance and presentation. There’s no real embarrassment factor because it just looks really cool – so much so that hiding it in your sock drawer feels like a crime. This thing needs to be on show in a design cabinet!

Alright, it’s not that great, but it is pretty neat and it has a lot more class than the first toy in the list. The only thing I’d complain about – and I’m really nit-picking here because I’m a design nerd – is the font used on the main button which does not fit at all. It’s only one small step away from comic-sans – a font which is fine for children’s parties but should be kept as far away from erotic encounters as possible. Apart from that, it’s a winner.

Race ya’ to the finish
Race ya’ to the finish

So yeah – if you’re a guy and you’ve always been put off the idea of a sex toy my advice is – don’t be. They can make your solo time hugely varied and enjoyable and while some might reaffirm your worst fears, there are plenty out there which might just surprise you. Now I just need to decide what to buy next.

Choices… choices…

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