Male sex toys are becoming increasingly mainstream, but that wasn’t always the case. Even when men could easily purchase a vibrator or cock ring, the idea of having a tool to specifically stimulate the penis or prostate was considered taboo by some. The stigma was likely due to the fact that straight men masturbating using sex toys were often seen as sad, lonely or perverted, says sexologist Cam Fraser.
But the truth is that masturbation with sex toys can actually be a healthy and enjoyable form of sexual stimulation for many men, he says. Whether used during solo masturbation, with a partner or during sex, the benefits of these toys are numerous and varied. From enhancing orgasms to improving moods and self-esteem, these tools can be a great way for men to take control of their pleasure.
Aside from the obvious sex appeal, male sex toys have been shown to help with stress, insomnia and low self-esteem, as well as provide relief for those who suffer from chronic pain. In addition, frequent masturbation has been shown to boost the immune system, reduce anxiety and increase sexual arousal during sex.
To find the best sex toys for men, we turned to 17 experts in the field including sex shop owners and employees, sex educators, sex therapists and sex podcasters. We asked them to share their favorite toys and the benefits of using them, as well as how to get started.
One of the first things you should keep in mind is that not all male sex toys are created equal. You’ll want to make sure the item you pick is the right size for your body. Some products have a fixed length or width while others are flexible and can be manipulated for different sensations. You’ll also want to pay close attention to how long or wide a toy can be insertable, as well as the types of vibe functions, stroke settings and other features it may come with.
Lastly, you’ll need to make sure your sex toys are compatible with your chosen lubricant of choice. Most manufacturers have recommendations on which types of lubricants to use with each toy, so check them out before you make a final decision.
For those just starting out, Fraser suggests starting with a simple product like a stroker, which is designed to be inserted into the penis. He recommends the Tenga Flip Zero, which has a squishy sleeve with grooves and cutouts that give added stimulation during stroking. The toy can also be pumped at different angles for more targeted stimulation. Another option is the Pleasure Air stroker from Arcwave, which uses patented technology to trigger pleasure receptors in the frenulum through changes in air pressure. It’s a more discreet option than traditional vibrators and was the favorite of three of our experts, including Steve V. Rodriguez, creator and host of the Talk About Gay Sex podcast. This particular stroker can be slid inside a silicone sleeve and pumped with several vibration modes and speeds for a completely customized experience.