Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vacuum Erection Devices

Guest post by David Pittle, PhD

For a man with erectile dysfunction, there are many options. Most ED in men below the age of 45 or so is psychologically based. The drug companies would like to sell these men Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, but the real solution is psychological counseling and/or sex therapy. 

But as men age, physical reasons cause more ED. Drugs for blood pressure, or type II diabetes, psychotropic medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Sertraline all carry the risk of reduced libido and also affect erections. So what are men in this situation to do? One great option is the vacuum device. 

Vacuum erection devices are designed to lengthen and strengthen the penis so that blood will flow into it. The best vacuum devices can create an erection hard enough for penetration for many men whose erections are no longer automatic. You can enjoy them as part of couple foreplay to heighten your mutual pleasure. 

I tested two vacuum devices: the Rapport Classic and the Encore Revive.

The Rapport Classic is a 2-½ inch clear plastic tube of good quality. The whole length is just over 8 inches. At one end is a manual pump to take the air out of the tube. At the other end is a part that fits snugly to the tube and for insertion of the penis. Surround the penis with a large amount of gel lubricant for a good vacuum seal.  (Both the Revive and the Rapport come with a tube of surgical gel lubricant, which works very well.)

Before inserting your penis, you use a supplied cone to load a cock ring onto the Rapport. Then insert your penis and use the manual pump to exhaust the air. This draws your penis up into the tube. At the same time, the extension of the penis creates an internal vacuum that forces blood into the penis, making it firm enough for vaginal penetration. 

When the penis is long and stiff enough—and before it begins to be painful and even damaging—you push the cock ring off the tube and down to the base of the penis. The cock ring is now holds the blood in the penis, keeping it hard. Press a button on the pump to release the vacuum, and take away the device. You are left with a good erection. 

This is all much more difficult to describe in words than it is to accomplish. The Rapport comes with a DVD video that makes the whole thing clear, obvious, and simple. The Rapport was provided to me by Uand Me Time

The Encore Revive is similar to the Rapport and works much the same way, with two main differences: The Encore Revive comes with both a manual pump which you use either one-handed like the Rapport or two-handed for more leverage, and with a battery powered pump. It also has a cock ring release that makes the final step almost automatic and releases the vacuum pressure at the same time. It also has a release valve if you decide not to complete the process.

This video shows how to use the Encore Revive and why it works:

Both the Rapport and the Revive are available online at a a wide variety of prices. (Links here to Amazon seem to have the best prices.) Both come with a large assortment of cock rings in sizes from very tiny to very large. A little experimentation will find your best size.

After trying both the Rapport and the Revive, my vote goes to the Encore Revive. But that is a very personal preference. I like the battery powered pump. Using the manual pump required more mental attention and I could not focus as much on the sensations in my genitals because of the manual effort to achieve a high level of vacuum. But, as they say, “That’s just me.” Another person may have a different reaction. Either one of these devices could really improve the sex life of a man who has tried simpler solutions and not been satisfied.

I’ve talked about these vacuum devices as though they are only to be used to lead to intercourse, but actually they also work very well for masturbation. The erections are strong and allow for a lot of pleasure.
Both of these are very different from the “fireplug” type of vacuum gadgets often sold in sex toy stores. The quality of construction and performance of these two devices is much better than the fireplugs, and not much more expensive. These items are, as the manufacturers like to remind us, “Medical Grade.” That means they are well constructed and will last much longer. Also don’t be afraid of the word “medical.” You don’t need a prescription to buy one.

There are several other brands of similar devices which I haven’t yet tested. The advertisements suggest that they all work essentially the same way but the pricing on the others was also quite a bit higher. None of these other manufacturers responded to my inquiries.

Vacuum erection devices are not the same as men’s sex toys that stimulate the penis by emulating the feel of a vagina, such as the Fleshlight or the Tenga Egg (which I reviewed here).

DavidM. 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. Please see Dr. Pittle's review of the Hitachi Magic Wand and the Tenga Egg.

(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.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Senior Sex Ed on TV: Kudos to Parks and Recreation

I rarely recommend any TV show's treatment of senior sex, but the "Sex Education" episode of Parks and Recreation 10/18/12 had me laughing and applauding.

 Leslie (Amy Poehler) has learned about an STD outbreak among seniors. As she explains it,

Lots of old people have chlamydia. Seniors in Pawnee have a lot of time on their hands, and what they're doing with that time is going at it hard, old-people style. A lot of them haven't had proper sex education, and as a result, STDs are having a field day. It's amazing what a few old guys can do with a little bit of charm and a lot of crabs.

They role play "gross" questions that the seniors might ask, which are pretty tame compared to what the seniors, who look to be maybe 75 to 90, really ask them. For example, when Leslie prepares to demonstrate putting a condom on a banana, one man asks, "That's all fine and good, but what if the banana is soft and mushy and doglegs sharply to the left?"

Yes, the show makes fun of elders. ("Can everyone hear me okay?" "No!" shouts the audience in unison.) When Leslie asks, ""Does anyone know what we risk when have unprotected sex?" she hears these responses:
  •  "Heart attacks!" 
  • "Falling in love!" 
  • "Your partner dies on top of you!" 
But what I love is how hilariously the show makes fun of those who think that seniors either aren't or shouldn't be sexually active. The seniors in the sex ed audience are having sex and they accept their sexuality as an ordinary part of life. This is despite the town's "abstinence only" law that prohibits any other kind of sex education (sound familiar?) -- whatever the age of the participants.

The "morality watchdogs" of the Family Stability Foundation (who obviously have their own secrets in the, er, closet) attempt to enforce this law. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that they don't succeed.

The "Sex Education" episode of Parks and Recreation is funny and right on target. You can watch the full episode here. Enjoy!