The sexual wellness industry has boomed in recent years.
Long gone are the days of women secretly buying sex toys and hiding them away.
Now, there’s no shame. In fact, investing in a toy is something to celebrate – it says you’re sexually empowered, taking charge of your own sexuality and aren’t relying on an outside source for pleasure.
However, the narrative for men hasn’t changed at the same pace.
Toys can be viewed as unnecessary by men for all sorts of problematic reasons – including seeing them as emasculating, taboo, or something to be used as a means to be end, rather than to be enjoyed.
But it looks like the pandemic – and the alone time it’s given people – has changed this sexual landscape.
New research from sexual wellness brand LELO found that, of 4,000 UK-based males, 41% used a sex toy for the first time in lockdown and 16% are now using a male toy at least once a day.
The reasons cited for trying toys include exploring anal pleasure, boosting performance, learning more about personal likes and dislikes, and reaching orgasm quicker.
What’s more, over a third believe it’s easier to orgasm when helped by a toy.
Kate Moyle, LELO UK’s sex and relationship expert, says: ‘The narrative around men owning and using sex toys is definitely changing as we as a society are opening up our ideas about sexual pleasure for both individuals and couples, and diversifying what that looks like.
‘The focus of sexual experiences should be about fun and pleasure and sex toys can really add to this and are a really great way of mixing up sexual routines, and incorporating a type of stimulation that you can’t achieve otherwise.
‘For men looking to explore sex toys they should first think about the type of stimulation (e.g. prostate) that they are interested in and start from there.’
Kate suggests starting a new toy on the gentle, slower settings to feel your way in, especially when using something like LELO’s new F1S V2 which uses sonic waves that penetrate a penis from ‘all directions at once’.
She adds: ‘As is always the case with sex toys a good water-based lubricant is the perfect addition to sex toy play and, if you are lacking in confidence or feeling nervous, you can always use a toy initially on your own until you feel happy and comfortable introducing a partner.’
According to the survey, the most popular male sex toys are vibrating penis rings, penis sleeves and prostate massagers.
The research also found that heterosexual men are more likely to use a penis ring while homosexual men generally reach for a butt plug. Likewise, single people across sexualities were more inclined to go for a penis sleeve.
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