Why Men Are Buying Vibrators \u2014 and Keeping Them for Themselves

If you ask any man in America to define what a vibrator is, he’ll probably say something along the lines of, “Well, it’s a brightly-hued hunk of oblong plastic.” He’ll also probably note that vibrators are meant for women.

To an extent, this is true: historically, vibrators have been marketed to and used by women. Although an estimated 51% of men have copped to owning some sort of intimacy product (per a 2014 survey), they tend to be cock rings or Fleshlights—rarely, if ever, vibrators.

Part of the reason for this has to do with basic anatomical differences (and we probably don’t need to draw you a picture to explain why). But there’s also an undeniable stigma associated with guys using sex toys to get off.

“For men, any kind of [self-pleasure help] feels like a direct piercing of their masculinity,” says Alexandra Katehakis, clinical director of the Center For Healthy Sex. “The attitude is, ‘I can do this myself, and if I can’t there’s something wrong with me.'”

That attitude, however, might be changing. Sex tech companies are increasingly starting to market products like vibrators to dudes—and they’re into it.

While most sex toys for men are aimed at replicating the sensation of a penis going in and out of an orifice, the truth is that lots of guys find the sensation of vibrations on their penis (particularly around the frenulum, or the sensitive strip of skin underneath the head of the penis) incredibly pleasurable. In fact, according to one 2012 study, 44% of heterosexual men admitted that they’ve enjoyed using a vibrator at one point or another.

To that end, here are some of our favorite vibrating cock rings, sleeves, penile extenders, and other amazing toys that have been specifically marketed as vibrators for men.

Tenuto MysteryVibe

Design-wise, the Tenuto might throw you for a loop: it’s a small, black clip that attaches to the base of your penis, and it looks more like a tiny car seat than a sex toy. The device is controlled by an app, which powers six hyper-sensitive vibration motors that the company claims can help increase blood flow for stronger erections while also stimulating your pleasure centers. It can be used both solo and during intercourse.

According to Stephanie Alys, who has the (awesome) title of Chief Pleasure Officer at MysteryVibe, for too long men have been told that the pleasures of sex are largely fricative (i.e., through the friction produced by inserting a penis into a vagina). Most guys don’t even know how awesome vibrations can feel on their penises, particularly if they have trouble getting aroused in the first place.

“[For men, vibrations] provide such a distinct orgasm,” Alys says. “With Tenuto, we really target the entirety of the male sex organs, so it can be life-altering, particularly for guys who have had a harder time getting aroused.”

Hot Octopuss Pulse Solo Lux

In 2015, the sex toy company Hot Octopuss introduced the Pulse, a vibrating sheath that was marketed as “the world’s first guybrator.”

The inventor of the Pulse, Adam Lewis, told the Daily Dot that he actually adapted the Pulse’s design from a similar product used in the medical field, which used deep oscillations to to stimulate the frenulum of the penis and help victims of spinal cord injuries achieve orgasm. Lewis said he hoped the Pulse (which is now in its third incarnation) would kibosh the lingering stigma attached to male sex toys.

“There’s a hundred different ways to achieve orgasm,” he told the Daily Dot. “Why should us guys just have one?”

ArcWave Ion

From Men’s Health sex columnist Zachary Zane’s review: “The sensation was novel—I’ll give it that much. I like the fact that you can pretty much put your dick in there, not do anything except strengthen your grip so there’s more pressure, and you’ll orgasm. Whether on purpose or not, the toy edges you because it’s only focusing on one section of your penis. Since it edges you, you end up orgasming hard. That’s a definite pro.

“Really, the Ion is a clit sucker except for the head of your penis. If you have a sensitive head and really like to focus on just your head when masturbating, then the Ion is a solid option.”

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Does losing your smell really impact your sex drive?

A year ago you might have put losing your sense of smell down to a nasty cold.

Fast forward 12 months and we all know it’s one of the key signifiers of Covid-19 and, for some people, this particular symptom can stick around for a while.

Loss of smell, also known as anosmia, is a serious blow for many – candles become a wasted household product and the enjoyment of food comes down to taste and texture alone. Not to mention the condition poses significant dangers, such as being unable to detect smoke without seeing it.

But loss of smell might also have an unexpected impact on sex life.

Research over the years has suggested sense of smell plays a strong role in sexual motivation. One study from 2018 found that 29% of participants with smell disorders reported decreased sexual desire since the loss of their sense.

Results showed some people missed the smell of their partners, while others said they felt insecure about being unaware of their own bodily odours – and both of these impacted their experience of sex.

However, it’s worth pointing out that several other factors can impact this too.

The study found that the change of sexual desire was significantly related to depression (something we know can hugely impact a person’s libido), as well as the severity of their loss of smell.

In a more recent study, US researchers found a link between a loss of smell and decreased sexual motivation and emotional satisfaction – something particularly relevant in the current Covid climate.

However, it’s worth pointing out that this study only looked at older adults (those 65 and over) – so it’s possible that age plays a role in sexual decline, too.

Interestingly, results found that less smell function was associated with decreased sexual motivation and less emotional satisfaction with sex – but not a lower frequency of sexual activity or physical pleasure.

This means those with anosmia were less in the mood for sex but were still having it.

What’s more, while gender, race, education, cognition and depression were all taken into consideration, the team could not determine causality – which means it’s not known if loss of smell actually causes decreased sex drive .

So where does this leave us with loss of smell and Covid?

Firstly, if you’ve lost your sense of smell because of coronavirus, it’s highly likely it will return.

A study published last July found that 72% of people who had lost their smell with Covid-19, reported that it came back after a month.

It’s also worth pointing out that while a loss of smell might affect the experience of sex, the jury is still out on whether it causes a reduced sex drive. Numerous lifestyle factors can play a role in this anyway, like depression, stress, low self esteem and more.

What to do if you think your low sex drive is connected to loss of smell 

There can be a number of reasons for losing interest in sex. The first thing to do is to try to figure out what may be causing it. If you’re convinced it’s to do with your loss of smell, there are lots of people you can turn to.

Firstly, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your GP, who might be able to offer some helpful advice or refer you to a specialist.

You could also contact a psychosexual therapist or get in touch with organisations such as Relate – a relationship support service.

More helpful resources can be found on the NHS website.

How to up your sex drive

A recent survey revealed these are the most popular things people try to increase their libido:

  • Watch pornography (but also decrease pornography)
  • Increase the use of foreplay
  • Attempt new sex positions
  • Have solo masturbation
  • Explore sexual fantasies
  • Increase the use of sex toys
  • Schedule sex
  • Change the location or time you have sex
  • Read erotic literature

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What January's Gemini Horoscope Predictions Mean for You

Read what your sign's 2021 horoscope predictions have in store for you or check out the Gemini personality profile. 

Welcome to January and a whole new year, Gemini! At the end of December, you accepted that sometimes you need to slow down and make room for self-care. Last year was rough for you in myriad ways; after all, you are the social butterfly of the zodiac, so being isolated during the pandemic has been hard for you. However, remember that it's important to keep yourself (and each other) safe, and even if it's hard right now, it'll be more than worth it in the long-run. 

The first big astrological date of the year for you is Friday, January 8. Your ruling planet, messenger Mercury, enters fellow air sign Aquarius, lighting up your 9th House of Philosophy. While Mercury will start its first retrograde of 2021 at the end of the month, your ruling planet is happy in logical Aquarius. As the 9th House also rules learning, this is a great time to pick up a new hobby, which can help you work out some of that anxious energy from being stuck inside. 

Romance planet Venus enters diligent Capricorn and your 8th House of Sex, Death, and Transformation.

But that's not the only thing the stars are up to on Friday, January 8. Romance planet Venus enters diligent Capricorn and your 8th House of Sex, Death, and Transformation. Don't worry, dear Gemini, this isn't an actual harbinger of death, but it does mean that your love life is in for a serious makeover. Any half-ass relationship or "situationships" past their expiration date will implode (unless you end them first). Geminis tend to have too many crushes and admirers, so don't feel bad about letting something lukewarm go. And while this transit may mean endings, it also means clearing the way for new love to come your way. 

Eccentric planet Uranus goes direct on Thursday, January 14. It's been retrograde since last August, bringing out the activist in all of us. Many of us have taken up the fight against systemic racism, while others have advocated for rent relief or a new administration. Others still emphasized the importance of keeping each other safe during the pandemic. When this revolutionary planet goes direct, life may start to feel just a tad easier, which is a good thing, but we must remember that there's still work to be done to make the world a better place. 

Use the bold energy of the full moon to express your needs to crushes and romantic partners. 

Progressive Aquarius season begins on Tuesday, January 19, and yes, that's the day before Inauguration Day. It's an understatement to say that 2020 was rough on all of us, but don't lose hope that change is possible; after all, it's the only constant. 

A full moon in Leo lights up your 3rd House of Communication and brightens the sky on Thursday, January 28. Use this bold energy to express your needs to crushes and romantic partners, because when Mercury retrograde begins on Saturday, January 30, communication gets a little wonkier. Because Mercury is your ruling planet, these retrogrades can affect you more than other signs. It becomes a bit more likely that you'll text the wrong person, or say something you don't mean to someone you care about, so double-check all your texts and think before you speak on and after this date. However, as noted, the planet is happy in Aquarius, and the sign's detached and logical vibe helps keep us calm when the WiFi cuts out right before an important Zoom meeting. Stay safe and see you in February.  

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We know many of you may be feeling worried, frightened, or isolated right now. Although the stars don't have answers to the multitude of questions running through all of our minds, astrology may at least provide some comfort during times of uncertainty. We urge you to donate to one or all of these organizations if you're able to. If you can't, we created a guide to ways you can support the BLM movement other than financially.

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What January's Aquarius Horoscope Predictions Mean for You

Read what your sign's 2021 horoscope predictions have in store for you or check out the Aquarius personality profile.

Welcome to January and 2021, Aquarius. It's about to be your season. At the end of December, you felt hopeful that the new year would bring positive change, both on personal and societal levels. When communication planet Mercury enters your sign and 1st House of Self on Friday, January 8, you're encouraged to vocalize your personal needs. You can be very community-minded, which is generally a good thing. Whether it's checking in on friends and family, talking about the importance of PPE, or protesting systemic racism, you're someone the world can count on. However, the one person you can forget to advocate for is yourself. 

On this same date, Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and abundance, enters diligent Capricorn and your 12th House of the Unconscious. This transit asks you to confront your deepest fears surrounding intimacy. Do you push lovers away before they see the real you? Are there secrets or insecurities that you're scared to even tell your therapist? It's time to try and confront them. You fight for others, dear Aquarius, so you should also fight for yourself.

Remember to take a deep breath and remember that we're all doing our best under a time of great duress. 

Sometimes you feel like you're an alien; there's no other explanation for why others are making the choices they're making. Uranus, your ruling planet, has been retrograde since last August, which has started to help others get on your level. We've seen this in action when it came to voter turnout in the election, and when many people chose not to travel over the holidays to avoid putting others at risk. However, when Uranus goes direct on Thursday, January 14, you may feel like a lot of people are starting to think life has just gone back to normal. Before you accuse anyone of being careless, remember to take a deep breath and remember that we're all doing our best under a time of great duress. 

The sun enters your sign on Tuesday, January 19, kicking off Aquarius season. Happy birthday, beautiful water-bearer! You have a tendency to downplay your birthday because you think there are more important things to deal with. Even if you want lots of attention, it's hard to get you to admit it. Your assignment this year is to celebrate as boldly as possible (while following social distancing protocol, of course). You deserve it. January comes to an end with the first Mercury retrograde of the year in your sign on Saturday, January 30. Remember to text your friends back, Aquarius, but don't let the retrograde stop you from celebrating you. See you next month! 

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Read more stories about astrology:

  • Your Guide to Lunar & Solar Eclipses in 2021 and How They’ll Affect Your Life

  • Each Zodiac Sign's Unique Personality, Explained by an Astrologer

  • Your Sign's 2021 Horoscope Predictions Are Here

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My husband masturbates in bed while I’m asleep, and won’t have sex with me. What’s going on?

Samantha Lee/Insider

  • A person's self-pleasure frequency isn't always linked to a lack of partnered sex. Still, your feelings are valid since your husband's personal time is affecting your bond.
  • Consider how this experience has made you feel, and then relay that information to your husband.
  • Be vocal about what you could do together to improve the situation for both of you, and ask your husband what he needs in the bedroom.
  • Have a question for Julia? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously. You can read more Doing It Right here.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

I think my husband has a problem with porn and masturbation. Maybe I'm exaggerating and his daily habit is normal, but I'm unsure.

The problem started on our honeymoon. He said he couldn't be intimate with me because he had been masturbating so much. It broke my heart. I found myself in a very romantic suite crying myself to sleep because the one thing the honeymoon is about (at least in my head) is to be intimate with your spouse, and that didn't happen.

Now that I know about how often he masturbates, I can't forget it. I also recently learned that he does it next to me when I am asleep. I have talked about it with him, but he often gets upset and defensive when I do.

He said it's my fault for feeling this way about the situation, and I don't have to. We even went to therapy for this and only after six months of that did he apologize, saying he wished our honeymoon had been different.

But this issue keeps happening and I feel our intimacy is severely affected. He doesn't make the effort to be with me anymore. We have sex probably once every two weeks at most. Every time we are intimate, I feel I am used as a hand, quick and fast. It is so not enjoyable for me.

I don't want to feel this way. It is not nice that every time he goes to the toilet or goes to bed earlier than me, I have the immense fear I'll catch him masturbating. What do I do now?

– Holland

Dear Holland,

I'm sorry you feel like you're being used rather than loved.

Though you've already tried talking to your husband about the situation, which I applaud you for, approaching the conversation in a new way may help.

First, it's important to reframe the issues you've been experiencing, because a person's masturbation frequency isn't directly linked to their appetite for partnered sex, New York City-based therapist and sex educator Rachel Wright told me.

These two patterns, your husband's daily masturbation and your lack of coupled intimacy, are occurring at the same time, but "they're two separate things that need to be tended to," Wright said.

At the same time, remember your feelings are valid because your husband's self-pleasure routine is affecting your relationship.

Wright suggested pinpointing the emotions you've been experiencing due to a lack of intimacy with your husband. That could be anything from feeling lonely to disconnected to unloved. But it's important that they come directly from you.

Then, set aside a time to talk with your husband.

Having the conversation

Start by reminding your husband how much you love him, and that you want to find solutions that make you both happy in your relationship. Then, say what you'd like to improve and steps you want to take to get there. 

Acknowledge what's been going on in a fact-focused way. Say something like: "I've noticed we haven't been as sexually intimate with each other as I'd like. I also noticed you masturbate often, and though the two may not be related, I've been feeling disconnected from your lately."

Reduce the risk of your partner becoming defensive by explaining how the facts of the situation play into your emotions, since it's impossible for him to decide or control how it makes you feel.

You can offer ways to work on the problem together, and then you should also give your partner space to offer his own solutions. Perhaps you'd like to have sex a certain number of times a week, or want to set boundaries so he doesn't masturbate next you in bed.

If it's more regular sex you'd like, ask your husband if he'd be open to scheduling a weekly session or two (and before you poo-poo scheduling sex, there's nothing wrong or unsexy about carving out quality time with your partner!). You could say you want to explore specific sex positions or experiment with toys in the bedroom so your needs are met, if that interests you.

Don't forget to ask your husband what he needs to feel a more intimate connection and enjoy bedroom time with you. During this conversation he might give you more insight into why he enjoys daily self-pleasure (which, by the way, can be completely normal and healthy, Wright said) and what's been going on in his head.

On the other hand, he might admit he needs help with an addiction.

Either way, lead with kindness, compassion, and curiosity so he's more likely to match your tone and be willing to solve the issues at hand alongside you.

As Insider's resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all of your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.

Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.

Related coverage from Doing It Right:

My partner won't have sex until marriage, but I'm very sexual. Should I have an affair to get it out of my system?

I'm having an affair with my best friend's partner, and he's become manipulative. Should I come clean?

My father-in-law recently moved in, and he insults me and my kids daily. How do I cope with his unappreciative attitude?

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What November's Cancer Horoscope Predictions Mean for You

Read what your sign's 2020 horoscope predictions have in store for you or check out the Cancer personality profile. 

Welcome to November, Cancer! At the end of October, you tapped into your inner caregiver, finding ways to make Halloween fun for others while keeping it safe. It's often thought that there's no problem you can't solve with your warmth, as you're one of the most hospitable signs of the zodiac. Keep up that positive and loving attitude, because Tuesday, November 3 promises to be a stressful day. It's the last day of Mercury retrograde in Scorpio, and of course, Election Day. Try and keep yourself and others calm by talking about the things that bring you joy, and catching up with anyone you've been meaning to chat with for a while. You're a caring, emotional sign that gains strength by looking after loved ones. 

You're such a good caretaker, Cancer, that people often overlook the warrior in you.

You're such a good caretaker, Cancer, that people often overlook the warrior in you. Sometimes you even hide in your crab shell so that your fierce side is hidden on purpose. The truth is that you're so loyal and protective that you would instantly go to bat to protect anyone you love. However, warrior planet Mars has been retrograde since September, dampening the fighter within. You may have been feeling as though your activist efforts have been for naught, or worried that you haven't been doing enough to keep up with your long-distance relatives. On Friday, November 13, Mars goes direct and ends its retrograde, so your inner fire will be renewed. Dive full force into fighting for what you believe in, including causes that matter to you and your most important relationships. The end of Mars retrograde also means that your sex life should flow more easily, giving you another reason to celebrate. 

One downside of worrying so much about those around you, Cancer, is that you sometimes forget to take care of yourself. Saturday, November 14 brings a new moon in fellow emotional water sign Scorpio. Draw a bath, light some candles, try aromatherapy, and focus only on your own inner thoughts. You may be surprised at how many emotions you've been repressing for the sake of keeping up appearances. It's time to feel them, so that you may eventually let them go. 

Self-care works, and when adventurous Sagittarius season begins on Saturday, November 21, you may be inspired to take on a new project that's just for you. Like Sagittarius, you love to explore new places, and the way the pandemic has affected travel has been hard for you. However, this time of the year inspires you to be creative with your version of exploration, and you may decide to enroll in an online class, learn a new language, or pick up a satisfying hobby, such as sewing or painting. 

We've all been cooped up for months, and it's understandable if you're having a hard time emotionally. 

Saturday, November 21, is not all fun and games, though. Romance planet Venus enters obsessive Scorpio, and it may bring out your jealous side. We've all been cooped up for months, and it's understandable if you're having a hard time emotionally. This transit could make you feel a bit insecure and possessive, so try to implement self-care rather than lash out at partners or crushes based on paranoid hunches. 

Finally, on Monday, November 30, there is a full moon and lunar eclipse in chatty Gemini. You are ruled by the moon, Cancer, so eclipses tend to stress you out even more than other signs. This makes it even more important to avoid making any sudden moves. If you can, put your phone on airplane mode and indulge in your water sign nature with a hot bath. This too will pass, and you should never forget how strong you are. You have claws and armor, after all. See you next month. 

Hydrate your lips as the seasons change with: Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss Ornament with Hyaluronic Acid, $7 (Shop Now)

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

We know many of you may be feeling worried, frightened, or isolated right now. Although the stars don't have answers to the multitude of questions running through all of our minds, astrology may at least provide some comfort during times of uncertainty. We urge you to donate to one or all of these organizations if you're able to. If you can't, we created a guide to ways you can support the BLM movement other than financially.

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It's a … ! Pregnant Lesley Anne Murphy and Alex Kavanagh Reveal Baby's Sex

Spilling the beans! Lesley Anne Murphy and her fiancé, Alex Kavanagh, announced the sex of their unborn baby with an adorable reveal.

See Model Elsa Hosk and More Pregnant Stars’ Creative Sex Reveals

The Bachelor alum, 33, shared the news in an Instagram video posted on Friday, October 16. In the clip, the DRONEGEAR founder came home to find Murphy surrounded by pink balloons and popping a pink bottle. The pair showed off balloons that read “Oh baby” and “Baby girl” while the Temptations’ song “My Girl” plays in the background.

“Excited to announce … We’re having a BABY GIRL!!!!” the season 17 contestant captioned the post. “This is how I surprised Alex that the future is female🎉🎉🎉 #itsagirl #babygirl #girldad #thefutureisfemale.”

Excited to announce… We’re having a BABY GIRL!!!!💝This is how I surprised Alex that the future is female🎉🎉🎉 #itsagirl #babygirl #girldad #thefutureisfemale

A post shared byLesley • The Road Les Traveled (@lesleyannemurphy) on

The couple announced in September that they are expecting their first child. Murphy shared an Instagram video of herself jumping down to dance with Kavanagh before he cradled and kissed her growing bump. The sweet clip was set to The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”

“Started from the kitchen now we’re here,” Murphy captioned the post. “Baby Kavanagh taking flight in 2021! Finally someone to occupy the middle seat 🙂 @drone.pilot and I couldn’t be more excited to grow our little family!!! #family #love #travel #adventure #coronababy #thelastdance #kitchendance #encore.”

Bachelorette’s Emily Maynard, More Celeb Pregnancy Announcements of 2020

The Arkansas native detailed how she discovered her pregnancy in a blog post on October 6. Murphy wrote that she found out she was expecting when she missed a period and took a pregnancy test.

“I walked into the living room and blurted out, ‘Ummmm … we’re pregnant!’” she wrote. “As I was brushing my teeth, I could hear him taking really deep breaths from our bedroom. As I walked back in, he immediately ran out and vomited in the toilet. Talk about a physiological response to pregnancy news! And I thought I was supposed to be the sick one! We laugh about it all the time. He’s very excited to become a dad regardless of the response.”

Celebrity Engagements of 2020

The twosome announced their engagement in February after one year of dating. However, their wedding plans have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Wedding planning turned into prenatal care,” Murphy wrote in her October 6 blog post. “Scheduled flights transformed into scheduled house tours. When life gives you 2020 lemons, make lemonade because it’s yummy, refreshing and well, nonalcoholic.”

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