Monday, January 30, 2012

The Hitachi Magic Wand: guest review by David M. Pittle, Ph.D.

“Where are the reviews of sex toys for men?” you keep asking me.

My books and blog are not just for women – I’m happy that I have many male readers, and I’m thrilled when men as well as women fill the room at my talks and workshops. But how do I, a woman, review a sex toy for men?

Obviously, I do that by inviting a smart, articulate, candid, sex-positive man of our age to review it – a man like David Pittle.

I first met David when he attended one of my talks and introduced himself as a therapist in San Rafael, CA, saying that he has been buying copies of Naked at Our Age for his clients. Since then, he has attended several of my events, and we’ve had many lively and honest conversations about sex and aging. When he told me that the Hitachi Magic Wand is his favorite sex toy, I invited him to write a review from his male perspective. Lucky for us, he was happy to oblige. Here it is:

The Hitachi Magic Wand
reviewed by David M. Pittle, Ph.D.

Most sex toys are designed for either women or men. However, one wonderful item which is bisexual is the magnificent and venerable Hitachi Magic Wand

The Magic Wand has been around for over 30 years in several constantly improving versions. The current Hitachi Magic Wand HV250R is a vibrator that can wake up your libido no matter how jaded you might be.

As we men get older, some of us have more difficulty getting a good erection. For many men that’s enough of a put-off that we quit trying. It can be embarrassing and disappointing. It is easy to begin to forget the joy of sex. But on a health level, getting off is important. A large, recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (April 2004), showed that men who have an active sex life--twenty or more times per month--were about one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Of course sex for its own sake is worthwhile.

Why would men use a vibrator? “If I don’t have a partner, I always have the natural vibrator, my hand,” many men say. And while that is true, it’s like saying that just because I like spaghetti, I can’t also enjoy a baked potato with my meal. Variety is the spice of life and a good vibrator is very spicy indeed.

The Magic Wand is large, about 12.5 inches in length. It resembles nothing so much as an old World War I potato masher hand grenade. Like a hand grenade, when it goes off, it provides a very big bang. The business end is 2.25 inches across, with a shallow v-slot that will hold your penis even in its flaccid state, and keeps it captured as you get hard. With two different speeds—L(ow) provides a relatively gentle ride and H(igh) gives a powerful, “let’s get going now” experience—the Magic Wand handles all the needs for most men.

Doctors sometimes recommend the Magic Wand, ostensibly for massaging back and shoulder muscles. But that size makes it perfect for massaging a man’s testicles and perineum, the area between the anus and the testicles, an area which is very erotically sensitive.

Another nice feature is that the head is easy to clean, as every sex toy should be, though not immersible and not for use in the tub or shower. The Magic Wand is corded and must be plugged into a wall socket. It is perfectly safe electrically when used in bed or other dry environments, but obviously one would not use it in the water any more than a hair dryer.

One accessory that may be useful to some men, though I haven’t felt the need for it, is a variable speed controller.  It can slow down the Magic Wand, if even the Low speed is too much, but I notice that reviews are generally not positive. If it isn’t needed, save the money and get a vibrator that is less intense.

I’ve tried a few of the sex toys specifically designed for men, but I always come back to my MagicWand!

David Pittle
David M. Pittle, Ph.D., is a therapist in San Rafael, CA, who has been helping people with sexual issues for over thirty years. Many of his clients are age 50-80, when good sex is important, and dissatisfaction may lead to loss of shared intimacy that can threaten the total relationship. David specializes in helping women who are not experiencing sexual satisfaction and men with non-medical and medically-related erectile dysfunction or other issues. Visit his website here.

(I am sad to tell you that my friend, sex therapist David Pittle died December 2017. We value his sex toy reviews. Read his other reviews here.)

Read Joan's review of the Magic Wand for women. You'll also find references to the Magic Wand in reviews of many other sex toys, because the Magic Wand's intensity is the gold standard!

Note from Joan: Please see my other vibrator reviews by clicking here. Keep scrolling down -- there are many! I love to hear from you and welcome your comments about any sex toys reviewed here, because our experiences are all different, and your experience will help other readers decide which toy is right for them. (However, if you're a sex toy retailer, I don't permit links that compete with the retailers I endorse -- spammy, highjacking comments and links won't see the light of day.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why is senior sex invisible in magazines?

Jennifer Nelson
Health and lifestyle writer Jennifer Nelson is blogging about women's magazines at For a book she's writing titled Stiletto Nation: The Lure and Loathing of Women's Magazines (Seal Press), Jennifer asked me for a quote about whether the sex articles in the women's magazines portray a realistic image of real-life sex in our age group. 

This was my response:

As an older woman and a spokesperson for ageless sexuality, I find that my age group is largely invisible in the women's magazines' treatment of sexuality. The only exception is when they notice the gorgeous sex appeal of an older celebrity, like Helen Mirren. But celebrate the sexuality of the rest of us older women, or offer us sexual self-help? No, that's only for those without wrinkles -- or life experience!

After responding to Jennifer and posting this on my Naked at Our Age Facebook page (which I hope you'll "like" and follow!), this topic stayed on my mind and kept giving me frown wrinkles. I decided to consult you:

Do you find that any magazine -- women's or men's -- treats seniors as sexual beings and gives honest, helpful, candid information about sexuality at our age? I know, this blog does that (thank you!) -- but can you pick up any print magazine at the supermarket or bookstore that doesn't ignore our sexuality? 

Contrast that with the dozens of magazine covers -- featuring wrinkle-free, airbrushed, cleavage-enhanced women and virile, muscular, ab-enhanced men -- that promise the ultimate answer about what he/she wants in bed, or 10 tips to seduce or thrill your partner, reignite your relationship, fulfill your/his/her fantasies... do I need to go on?

Why is senior sex invisible in magazines? More important, how can we change that? That's what I want to know.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Senior Erotica Anthology: Call for Submissions


2/1/12 8 a.m. update: Today's the deadline for submissions to the Senior Erotica Anthology! My email box is jumping today. Since I posted this Call for Submissions in September, I've received exactly 100 (100!) submissions--I'll be able to accept just 25-30 of those. Erotic stories and memoir essays have come in from professional writers in the erotica genre, professional writers in other genres (young adult, self-help, science fiction, memoir, and more), and from many new, unpublished writers. Some are sweet and romantic, some are rough and kinky, and everything in between. The topics are as diverse as the writers. Ohhh, this is going to be a fabulous anthology! Maybe we should do this every year! Writers, please be patient--I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

(1/18/12: I'm moving this post to the top because we're so close to the Feb. 1 deadline. The submissions are coming in quickly now, and I'm having a delicious time reading them. If you submitted, even months ago, hold on -- acceptances will go out by mid-February. If you haven't submitted yet, please read the guidelines carefully first. I look forward to hearing from you!)

(11/20/11: We have many new readers, thanks to placing #14 of the 100 Best Sex Bloggers 2011 and being recently featured on the front page of Suddenly Senior, so I'm bringing this Call for Submissions to the top again. Please send me your complete contact info if you'd like to submit a story or personal essay to this anthology. The submission isn't due until February, but I'd like your contact info ahead. Please read my updates at end.)

 Joan Price is seeking erotic stories and memoir essays of high literary quality from writers over age 50, featuring steamy characters also over age 50, for a senior erotica anthology to be published Spring 2013 by Seal Press. 

Will this be your typical erotica anthology with a few wrinkles?

No, the truth is that we seniors don’t respond to the sopping-wet panties and rock-hard erections that are the hallmark of traditional, youth-oriented erotica. Instead, we want erotica that we can relate to, that encompasses the changes and adaptations of age, that acknowledges how we like to be stimulated. Age is accepted, celebrated, and sensually enjoyed. 

Characters may be having spicy sex with partners they love and have loved for decades; or with new loves or casual encounters; or solo with hands, vibrators, memories, and fantasies.  Although I admit my bias towards erotica that is tender and loving, I’m also looking for edgy and kinky stories for a balanced collection.

Seal Press and I will choose submissions of high literary quality, not just good, explicit sex scenes. Arouse us with a sexy, well-crafted plot we haven’t read before, characters who entice us and feel real to us, language that describes sex in a new way. I welcome diversity of all kinds, including race, ethnic background, gender identification, sexual orientation, disability, and every other kind of diversity.

Word length: 1,500-3,000 words, previously unpublished preferred.

Payment: $100 on acceptance and 2 copies of the book on publication.

Submission deadline: February 1, 2012 (earlier submissions preferred). Please submit Word document, double-spaced, Times or Times New Roman font. Authors may submit up to 2 contributions.

Before you submit (right now would be good!), please email me at with the header “senior erotica submission” and include your 75-100-word author bio written in the third person and complete contact information: legal name, pseudonym if applicable, mailing address, email address, and phone. Please include your age, also (which won’t be public unless you want it to be). I’ll put you in my database of potential contributors and update you as the project progresses.

Please feel free to copy and forward.

Thank you!

Joan Price

Updates -- please read:

9/22/11 update: I'm receiving submissions already -- thank you!  I'd prefer the sex scenes to take place at the characters' current age (over 50, 60, 70...). A story or two with flashbacks to younger years is fine, but I'm getting too many youthful flashbacks and too few current-age erotic scenes. What makes a story sexy and arousing at our age? That's your challenge!

10/4/11: Please read this new post updating what I'm seeking -- even if you already submitted your story.

11/1/11: I know it's tempting to write about older characters having sex with impossibly attractive, young partners, and yes, it's ok if you've written a truly fabulous story in that vein -- but I'd love to see more stories about older characters who are wildly attracted to each other and have amazing sex together. Let's show our youth-oriented culture (and ourselves!) that we're sexy at this age, too.

11/13/11: I’m pedaling away on my Fitdesk, rereading the 30 erotica submissions I’ve received already. It's too early to officially accept any contributions, but I can't resist sharing with you that I absolutely love five of these stories. The ones that work incorporate seamlessly and unapologetically the realities of making love as an older person, whether it’s the man taking a pill or the woman applying lubricant or one of them placing a pillow under creaky knees before giving oral sex. Meanwhile, the focus is on the gradual building of the erotic details, as the author brings the sex scene to life and invites the reader to join the characters' arousal. "How the heck do I accomplish that?" you may ask. Only really good writers manage it, those who are our age and can describe what great sex feels like now. Looking forward to seeing your submission!

11/18/11: I've received contact information & bios from 51 writers, inquiries from about 20 more, submissions from 30. Clearly this is an idea whose time has come! If you are interested in submitting, please send the contact info/bio ahead so you're in my database. We have plenty of time before submissions are due, but don't wait if yours is ready.

11/20/11: It's a fine balance between erotically arousing and realistic older sex, isn't it? A few writers are doing that brilliantly--but many get stuck in gloom or reverie rather than bringing to life the exuberance of senior/elder sex. Some have so much story going on that the actual erotic part is bare; others are just writing the sex scene, without a story. Again, it's a fine balance, and it takes a skillful writer to make it work.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Reader: "I have difficulty ejaculating." Michael Castleman responds.

Buddy, age 65, has difficulty ejaculating because he doesn't feel enough stimulation during intercourse. He sent me this email requesting advice:

Dear Joan,

I just finished your book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. It was a breath of fresh air to find that I am not that different about my sexual desires, fantasies and needs as other 65 year old people.

I didn’t see you address my specific issue in the book. Namely, I have difficulty ejaculating. It is not that it doesn’t ever happen, it does both with oral stimulation and with penetration sex; just not very often. 

My companion really wants to have me reach orgasm inside her, as do I, but too often, I lose my erection before the big moment. Many times it seems there is a lack of continued stimulation after penetration. I don’t “feel” anything. Lubrication isn’t an issue, she has plenty and we aren’t bashful about adding synthetic lube to the equation. 

For reasons of knee pain and a few pounds overweight the only position we have found to date and enjoy is her lying on her back and me on my right side with my torso at a right angle to hers. Missionary hurts my knees and I’m too tall, compared to her, for doggie to work comfortably. 

Do you have any suggestions to continue the stimulation on the glans of my penis to build up an ejaculation after penetration? Your input will be very much appreciated by us both.

Thank you for your time and providing a non-sleazy forum for us “old-timers” to learn and re-learn new tricks.

Buddy's right -- as comprehensive as Naked at Our Age is, it doesn't answer Buddy's question. So I asked Michael Castleman, M.A., a top health writer, sex educator, and sex counselor, to address Buddy's concerns. Michael Castleman responds:

Your situation is not at all unusual. Older men often develop problems with ejaculation/orgasm for several reasons:  

(1) The nervous system becomes less "excitable" with age. This means it takes more stimulation for ejaculation and orgasm to happen. It's also part of the reason you don't "feel" anything during intercourse. Sex therapists often tell older men, "You don't have to ejaculate every time." That's true, but if she really wants you to come inside her, not ejaculating is not going to help. 

(2) It's more difficult to maintain erotic focus. Aches and pains can distract from erotic focus, You have some, so they may be contributing to your situation. Have you considered some pain medication before sex? Advil? 

(3) Drugs and drug side effects. You didn't mention drugs, but many older people take one or more. Many drugs cause ejaculation problems, and quite a few have side effects that include ejaculatory difficulty, notably, antidepressants. If you're taking medication that may cause ejaculatory problems, ask your doctor if another drug can be substituted.  

What to do? Here are a few quick suggestions:  

(1) During intercourse, in addition to the old in-out, also stroke your penis by hand (yours or hers). This may provide the extra stimulation you need to get over the hump. (It may take some practice to figure out how to do this.) Or try pressing a vibrator against your penis or scrotum. The extra stimulation may help. 

(2) Make love earlier in the day. Many older lover find that at night, they're too pooped to pop. Make love before noon and you're likely to have more erotic energy, including energy for ejaculation and orgasm. 

(3) Try some anal massage in addition to intercourse. Now, you may have objections to anal play, and if you do, you're under no obligation to do this. But some men find that adding anal sphincter massage and/or fingering to intercourse helps the man come. 

For a more detailed discussion of this issue, visit my site,, and click on the Info Library. Under About Men, you'll see an article on Ejaculation and Orgasm problems. Here's the direct URL.

Many thanks to Buddy for his candor and to Michael Castleman for his terrific advice. I invite your comments, readers.

Michael Castleman, M.A., is the author of twelve books, including Great Sex: TheMan's Guide to the Secrets of Whole-Body Sensuality and Sexual Solutions:For Men and the Women Who Love Them. From 1991-95, he answered the sex questions submitted to the Playboy Advisor. Visit his website about sex after midlife,