Article: Why men don’t (admit to) use sex toys?

Back in September I attended Sexual Health Expo (SHE) in New York and one of the sessions I could identify with was The United State(s) of Masturbation With Dr. Chris Donaghue. In this session, Dr. Donaghue shared the insights he obtained from a masturbation survey conducted by TENGA (yep, THAT Tenga!), in which one of the findings was that only 20% of men in the United States admitted owning a sex toy.  Unfortunately, the reasons behind this “low” number were not addressed…

As a man owning hundreds of sex toys, let me shine some light behind the reasons why men don’t admit to use sex toys…

Sex toys are still associated with women and gay men.

If you are in your 20’s (a.k.a. “millennial dumb ass” – just kidding), this association will be weird for you. On the other hand, if you are in your 40’s (Generation X in the house!) you understand it very well and even still think of sex toys as the exclusive realm of women and gay men. Why?


Back in the golden years of the 1980’s – when most of us old geezers belonging to the Generation X were teens – the only sex toys in the market were dildos, vibrators, and awfully looking PVC inflatable dolls. The dildos and vibrators had unmistakable phallic shapes and were usually made of hard plastic or other similar materials and you could get them in most pharmacies. Behind the pharmacist counter. Just like the condoms.

At that time, vibrators were known as “personal massagers” – and they were clearly designed for women. Besides the colors, the shapes were completely phallic and the marketing was targeted at the ladies. Hitachi wands clones were available in pharmacies, but if you were a guy you would get looks that could shame a porn star. In fact, I got the same weird looks 10 years ago when I bought a wand for – believe it or not – massage my busted knee. (Honestly, I got it for my knee!)

The other sex toys in the market were related to BDSM – and that was not as “mainstream” as it is today. Most of the kink paraphernalia that is almost mainstream today – floggers, paddles, spiked leather wristbands, and leather restraints – was usually associated with either underground BDSM dungeons and/or gay clubs.  If you were wearing leather clothing (except a jacket) before the popularity of the late 1980’s glam metal bands, you were “gay as fuck”…

The only sex toy designed for men were the sex dolls – and you needed to be REALLY horny to fuck one of those. First, the only way to get a hideous PVC sex doll was either going to a physical sex toy store usually located in the worst part of town or risk ordering it by mail using an ad from an adult magazine. More than often, you will lose your money (you won’t get shit back), or you’ll get an ugly, low quality doll even worse than the value line from Pipedream. You honestly preferred to simply use your hand…

Good sex toys for men are a recent invention.

Do you know that only one of the major brands of male sex toys would be allowed to drink this year if they were humans? Fleshlight, the most recognized brand, just turned 21 this year (it was founded in 1995). RealDoll is next with 20 years. Tenga is the baby of the group with just 11 years. DocJohnson has been around since 1976 – but most of their products until the late 1990’s were exclusively for women.

For men of my age group, sex toys are a relative new thing. We grew up using our hands as our only sex toy – or some household items if we were creative. We grew up abusing of our Mini Me with just our bare hands, occasionally using household items to change the sensations. Unpaired socks became our cum buckets. Rolled towels? That was our Cadillac toy. Lube? You had to hide any petroleum jelly, olive oil, liquid soap, and hand cream you had in the house. In desperation, we would use even the toothpaste – or the Ben Gay by mistake… A warm apple pie? Even in 1999 that was a good option…

Good sex toys toys for men are still expensive

Even now in 2016, a decent sex toy for men will cost you no less than $30 – and it won’t last long. The average high quality TPE pussy will cost you $60 (on sale) and a silicone one will cost you no less than $100. Want a sex doll? The cheapest sex doll torso in the market is the Meiki Plush Doll from ToyDemon ($250). The Tomax Nui is super new and basic – but it is still $50 plus the cost of the filler material. Want a full size solid doll? Then your best option is a plushy sex doll like the Eri Nanjo ($500), the Teddy Babes ($700) or a TPE doll starting at $900…

Even Tenga is expensive if you want to use their toys more than a couple of times. Yes, they have the Eggs ($5 each), and their cups ($15), but those are single use toys. Their repeated use toys like the Flip line are no less than $70 – and they are designed to be used around 50 times before starting to deteriorate.

The lack of good sexual education for the heterosexual man

This is a topic I have discussed before, so I am not going to hit it again. If you are a heterosexual man, there is no good sexual education for you out there. Most of the time,  topics emphasize on non-traditional practices (why you insist in me placing stuff in my ass when I don’t want to?), or the instructor is either a) female or b) gay. Many heterosexual men simply are turned away by that because they don’t feel represented. Sounds dumb and stupid, but it happens.

They are considered a symbol of failure

As the image featuring this article, there is still a double standard related to men using sex toys. If you admit using a toy, most of the time you are considered a failure, a loser, a pervert. And guess who are the first ones to make fun of you…?

Women are still the main issue

Ironically, the main reason men do not use (or admit using) sex toys are their female partners. Gay couples have more openness about toy use – at least that is apparent on conventions and expos – but heterosexual couples present a different challenge. This in fact was raised on the session I participated and the response was simply “get another partner”. The presenter ignored the fact that most women DO NOT ADMIT to have toys (according to the same survey, only 42% of women have toys), meaning they are not open for their male partner to use a toy of his own.

As a sex toy reviewer I get message after message asking for “discreet” toys. Guys know in their hearts that a nice reproduction of Asa Akira’s vulva or a realistic sex doll will not be accepted at home. Either the girlfriend will make fun of them, the prospective partner will shy away considering you a pervert, or in the worst case, become offended (and aggressive) for your use of an alternate pleasure method.

Many of my friends at toy forums tell story after story of having to hide their toys – no matter if it is a $20 FiFi or a $10,000 Japanese sex doll – in fear of their wives / girlfriends finding them and destroying them. Friends have had their sex dolls mutilated and dismembered by angry girlfriends. Other had his three Fleshlights cut to pieces when his wife found them. Another was accused of cheating because he had a RealDoll in his boat house for his fishing weekends – trips his wife never wanted to go. A common topic in the forums is “toy or GF”, not from the point of which one is better, but from the point of receiving an ultimatum from the SO about their toy use.

Of course, the Internet has changed the availability of quality sex toys for men – so the numbers will change. Now I can order quality sex toys from Japan from my bedroom and receive them a week later. For less than $5,000 I can create the “woman” of my dreams and have it home a month later in all her silicone glory. With home based 3D printing, I can design modifications to soft and hard shell mannequins to make them sexually capable. In the future, the technology will allow us to design and operate robots for the sole purpose of sexual services, eliminating prostitution and sexual trafficking…

Of course, there are already groups against the creation of sex robots

And then they ask why we don’t use sex toys…