Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tenga Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy: Sex Toys for Men

Thank you, David Pittle, for continuing to review sex toys for penises here. My readers and I are grateful! Readers: your comments are always welcome. -- Joan Price

Tenga Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy: Sex Toys for Men

Guest blog by David Pittle, Ph.D.

Tenga, a Japanese company that makes sex toys for men, recently sent me the Flip Hole and 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy for review, two different types of male masturbation devices. I heartily recommend these to men for solo use, for couples who enjoy mutual or simultaneous masturbation, and for anyone who wants to pleasure a male partner.

Flip Hole

While most of the male masturbation market has churned out artificial vaginas, Tenga’s Flip Hole is a real improvement. 

The Flip Hole is designed to open up completely. This allows you to lay your penis down on one side, then close it up for use. Or you can close it with the clip and enter the hole.

The vacuum pump formed by the material is controlled by the buttons to create a squeezing pleasure. The wing gate has big ribs midway in to grip and hold you. The side ribs add side stimulation for maximum feel. The lip flat provides a good grip upon insertion, while the shield flap helps to keep lubricants inside. 

The innovative opening makes for cleanliness not often possible with male masturbation devices. The entire unit flips open for easy cleaning. Then hang it on the clip for drying.

I received two of the four versions of the Flip Hole. Aside from the coloring of the case -- Black, White, Silver and Red -- the pattern of the soft elastomer material inside varies, giving each version a significantly different feeling. The two I tried both felt great. I understand that the Black Flip Hole has a firmer inner material for a more intense experience, but I didn’t have that one to test.

My one criticism is that the weight and bulk of the Flip Hole make it a bit awkward and tiring to use. I’m sure that the choice of the stimulating material must be the reason, as the shell can’t weigh much. Was it worth the effort? Absolutely. I just hope that Tenga will find a way to make it lighter without giving up the advantages of this fine masturbation device.

3-D Sculpted Ecstasy

Built with the same foam material as the Tenga Egg, which I previously reviewed, the Tenga 3-D Sculpted Ecstasy comes in five textures. The photo shows (left to right) the Pile, Module, SpiralPolygon, and Zen (an interesting undulating series of shallow spirals). 

Each comes in a package with the texture side out and on a mounting stand. For use, we take it off the stand, a dowel that goes up the middle, and turn it inside-out. (Actually it comes inside-out, so we turn it “inside-in.” See the photo where the Module texture is partially turned.

With the exception of the Zen, I found all the textures pleasant and virtually indistinguishable. The Zen had a softer and gentler effect—but the difference was not extreme. Of course, you might have a different preference.

The 3D Sculpted Ecstasy comes with a packet of lubricant for the first use. Squeeze the lubricant liberally around the hole and inside. And go to town.

Clean-up is easy. Just reverse the inside-out process and wash with your favorite soap and water or toy cleaner.

I really like this product. For personal use, I will return often to the Tenga 3D Sculpted Ecstasy. Between these two products, the Flip Hole and the Sculpted Ecstasy, competitors will have to struggle to keep up. These are far ahead of other devices I have used.

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.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Casting Call: Extreme Cougar Wives

I received this email and casting call from Rachel Macy, Casting Producer, STILETTO Television, and decided to pass it along, in case this is just right for you. This is not an endorsement -- just information. -- Joan

We are casting nationwide for new episodes of TLC's hit new show Extreme Cougar Wives!...We are looking for fun, flirty, unashamed and bold personalities... This docu-series helps to end a double standard and follows women in their prime who are dating/in a relationship with much younger men.  We want outgoing (loud and proud) personalities, amazing energy, couples that are happily in love or singles looking for love! It would be great to find women who date men 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years younger than them and are proud of it. Ultimately, we want to hear their love story and know their journey!


Stiletto Television, the award winning production company that brought you TLC’s smash hit special Extreme Cougar Wives, is now searching nationwide for more fabulous cougars to star in this captivating docu-series.

Are you a woman over 50 with an outgoing personality and amazing energy who is happily in love (or looking for love) with a much younger man? Do you find that men your age just can't keep up with your lifestyle, level of maturity or libido? If you like to date men 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years younger than you and are proud of it, we want to know your love story!

If you or someone you know is an extreme cougar, lives in the US, we want to hear from you by February 22nd! Please send your contact information, brief bio and a recent photo to: Rachel Macy, Casting Producer, or phone 310-957-5757 ext 263. 

The press release for the show is available here

View several videos here.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Practically Sexless Marriage? Laurie Watson Advises

“Brad” wrote to me because he and his wife “Angie” are in a practically sexless marriage. I consulted AASECT-certified sex therapist Laurie Watson, author of Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, to offer some advice. Obviously the couple’s problems are too complex to solve with one blog post, but I hope that Laurie Watson’s advice and, her book can help Brad and Angie take the first steps towards developing a sexually vibrant relationship.

Brad's Story

My wife Angie and I are in our fifties and been together since college. I've always loved her dearly. I've always found her to be desirable and let her know it. She is my best friend. Through almost all of that time, I've been dissatisfied the frequency and amount of passion in our sex life.

To say that the two of us have different sexual appetites is an understatement. Most of the time Angie says she simply isn't interested or too tired for sex. I, on the other hand, have offered and made myself available to her sexually. Despite being willing to attend to her needs, she has rarely reciprocated that willingness. 95% of my sexual release throughout my sexual history has come from masturbation.

I tell Angie that I love her, desire her, feel passionate about her, and I'd like to work on improving our sex life. She acknowledges that work needs to be done but usually says that now is not a good time, she's too tired, or she feels uncomfortable being sexual with the kids in the house. (Our two grown kids moved back to our small house for financial reasons.) When I ask how I could help resolve these issues or make suggestions for solutions, she generally discounts them or said she’s at a loss about what to do.

Things hit a further low point sexually about eight years ago. I was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer (prostatectomy). I now have difficulty maintaining erections and too often there is an aching pain in the pubic region immediately after orgasm.

I’m unhappy about our lack of passion, intimacy, and sensual play (while acknowledging my shortcomings due to ED, low testosterone, and mild depression).  I’ve told Angie that I want to bring back more of the fun of sensuality and passion rather than concentrating on "the act." She continues to come up with the same excuses I've heard numerous times before.

A therapist years ago told us that Angie was depressed. She doesn’t get treatment for her depression, although she'll often self-medicate with marijuana. I think I’m depressed, too. We’ve always struggled financially. I lost my job during the recent recession and was out of work for over a year. I am now working full-time but my wages are substantially lower.

The last time we had sex together was a few months ago, at a hotel. I found it satisfying (any sexual contact is appreciated!) and she indicated that she found it satisfying, too.

 I want to turn things around, if it's not too late. I feel as if I'm running out of time. How do I go about improving the passion and sensuality between us? I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the only person I can work on is me. I cannot offer advice or solutions where it will not be wanted or accepted.

Laurie Watson replies:

In marriage, often one spouse is the pursuer, easily expressing needs, wishing for closeness, attention, and sex. The other spouse becomes a distancer, wishing for more space. Distancers often feel smothered by pursuers, who, in turn, feel starved by distancers. It can become a tug-of-war. Sexually, it can feel desperate. Examining the ways you have balanced closeness and distance might start to change things between you.

You both had an enjoyable sexual experience in a hotel, away from home, boomerang adult kids, bills, and the endless call of things to do. I congratulate you on finding a formula for great sex. As often as you can afford it, schedule a hotel rendezvous and indulge in relaxing, satisfying sex.

You’d like Angie to initiate sex and show that she desires you. Like many women, she may be more receptive, willing to be convinced, but not to initiate. Your wife may need your male energy and urgency to get her started.

Yet now more than ever, you need the reassurance that you are virile and desired after prostate cancer. How to do this without crowding the space between you and making her back up?

Try being a great seducer! The hotel adventure probably worked because you initiated a creative space for relaxation, intimacy, and sex. The chase and seduction are a good part of the turn-on. Often a woman’s craving for sex doesn’t kick in until about halfway through the experience. Then suddenly her aroused body says, “Yes, I do want sex!”

Men shouldn’t be responsible for all the work on the sexual relationship, though. Women can prompt themselves with fantasies, anticipation, and memories of exciting past love-making sessions, coming to bed mentally primed for arousal.

Prostate cancer brings its own set of challenges. Luckily, you still have desire and you still have some erectile ability. The sooner men start on penile rehabilitation post-surgery, the better their eventual outcome. Your deep pelvic pain, more common immediately post-surgery, absolutely necessitates a visit to the doctor to rule out infection, inflammation, kidney problems, and nerve damage. You may also need treatment from a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic pain.

Culturally, men are conditioned that they are good lovers if they have big, strong erections. But most women do not experience climax through penetration - only 15-20% ever do in intercourse. You can be a satisfying lover with manual and oral stimulation. With enough stimulation, men can reach orgasm with or without an erection - those are completely separate functions.

You have mentioned that your wife struggles with depression, as do you. It would be good if you both saw a therapist, seeking treatment for depression as well as your relationship issues. Even a single consultation would help a therapist see where you are stuck as a couple and guide you.

-- Laurie Watson, LMFT, LPC, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, is the author of Wanting Sex Again – How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage. She blogs for Psychology Today Online in Married and Still Doing It. Laurie guest lectures at the medical schools for Duke and UNC Chapel Hill on sexual function/dysfunction. Director of Awakenings – Center for Intimacy and Sexuality in Raleigh, she maintains a full-time clinical practice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kegel Magic: Pelvic Floor Shape-Up For Better Sex

Diagram from Wikipedia
 January is "shape-up" month, with every lifestyle magazine and website proclaiming a new exercise program.

I've got a shape-up program for you, too, and though it's a muscle workout, you won't see the results in the mirror or show them off to your friends -- except for intimate friends -- and then the results will be felt, not seen.

This workout strengthens the muscles of your pelvic floor -- the "PC" (pubococcygeus) muscles that run along the pelvic floor and surround the entire vagina. These are the muscles that contract during orgasm.

 Regular pelvic floor workouts, AKA Kegel exercises, lead to more enjoyable sex: easier arousal, stronger orgasms, more pleasure. If that's not enough, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles also protects against urinary incontinence. (Ah, now I have your attention!)

You've been told, "Do your Kegels," but you haven't been told how to do them most effectively. Here are step-by-step instructions for your pelvic floor workout, thanks to Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS and staff of A Woman's Touch Sexuality Resource Center in Madison, Wisconsin:

Step-by-Step Kegels

1. Lie down on your back in a comfortable place with your knees bent. Lying down takes the weight off your pelvic floor and leads to earlier success. Have your tool (if you are using one) and lubricant with you.
  • If you're using a tool, coat it with lubricant and insert it into your vagina until it comfortably slips into place just behind the pubic bone. You can't push it in too far; it cannot get lost inside of you.

  • If you're using your finger(s), wash your hands first, then coat your finger(s) with lubricant. Next, insert your finger(s) about 2 inches into your vagina. 
  • You can also practice Kegels with nothing at all inside your vagina, or a hand placed on your perineum, to feel the muscle contract from the outside.

2. Contract your pelvic floor muscles. It will feel like you're pulling up and in toward your belly button. Don't push out, unless specifically advised by a health care provider. If you're using a tool, you should feel it rise a bit. If you're using your finger, you should feel a gentle tightening around the finger. Try to keep your leg, buttock, and abdominal muscles relaxed, and remember to breathe normally throughout the exercise.

3. Hold the lift for a count of 5. If you're using a tool, you can add resistance by pulling gently on it as you continue using your muscles to pull the tool inward and upward. Remember to breathe!

4. Relax your muscles.

5. IMPORTANT: After each contraction, take a deep belly breath. Inhale deeply and gently blow out the air while you relax your pelvis completely. This deep relaxation is just as important as the other steps, because the deep belly breath relaxes the muscles that are not under your conscious control.

For much more about Kegels from A Woman's Touch, click here.

The deep relaxation phase is often omitted when we're told how to do our Kegels, but they're as important to practice as the contraction. Many women of our age, especially after a period of celibacy, experience what feels like tightening or shrinking of the vaginal opening because the muscles don't fully release. This can interfere with our enjoyment of penetrative sex.

"Pay equal attention to the contraction and the relaxation of the muscles that surround the vagina in particular," says sex educator and counselor Ellen Barnard, MSSW, co-owner of A Woman's Touch. "Otherwise you may find that these muscles are stiff and inflexible, which will also get in the way of comfortable penetration when you are ready to have it."

You can practice with your own fingers, a partner's fingers or penis (fun for both of you!), or a sex product designed for vaginal penetration (that's the "tool" mentioned above) such as a dildo, dilator, or a special Kegel exerciser.

You can also practice your Kegels without tools or fingers, even on the go: standing in the grocery line, driving, walking, working at your desk, during your Pilates, yoga, or dance class. If you're doing them in public, be sure you've mastered the part about not contracting your buttocks, or anyone standing behind you will see what you're doing!

Although I've directed this article to women, Kegels are also important for men. These muscles located in the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus, contract during a man's orgasm. Kegels can make sex more pleasurable for men with age-related, less intense orgasms.

"By strengthening the muscles of the perineum, you will pump more blood to this vital area, achieve greater ejaculatory control, and increase the intensity of your orgasms," says urologist Dudley S. Danoff, MD, FACS, author of Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health.  (Read my interview with Dr. Danoff here.)

Kegels are recommended for all ages, and they're especially important for Boomers now and through our later years.

Kegels can be fun as well as useful. Though there's nothing sexual about the pelvic floor exercises per se, there's nothing to stop you from pleasuring yourself or your partner while you do them, or right afterwards!

(This post first appeared 12/28/12 on the Post50 channel of The Huffington Post here.)

 Please read the companion piece to this one: Kegel Exercise "Tools" for Better Sex to learn about cool tools that will make your Kegels lots of fun.

Friday, January 11, 2013

FC2: New Female Condom

FC2 Female Condoms 

Guest blog by David Pittle, Ph.D

Amy, a client of mine, reported, “The condom broke!” twice within a week. I assumed that her boyfriend must not know how to use a condom properly, because condoms rarely break when used properly. He must have been using oil-based lubricant, stretching the condom beyond its limits, putting it on without leave a reservoir space for the ejaculate, or using expired condoms.

Now all of that is teachable, but the boyfriend was not my client.I wanted to put the process in Amy’s hands. Years ago, I knew about the “female condom.” The original female condom never got much acceptance. As Joan Price wrote, “It was like having sex in a shower curtain.”

But the new FC2, second generation of female condom, is a different experience and a great improvement. It is soft and pliable, very easy to use, and made of nitrile, like today’s medical exam gloves.

The FC2 condom has many advantages. It . . .
  • Is very comfortable 
  • Is not constricting 
  • Feels good to both the man and the woman 
  • Warms to the temperature of the body, or more specifically, to the vagina 
  • Can be put on hours before intercourse 
  • Can be left in after ejaculation 
  • Is impervious to oil-based lubricants 
  • Is easy to insert 
  • Aids in stimulating the clitoris for some women. 

But the most important advantage from the woman’s point of view. . .
  • It is under control of the woman before she gets involved in the passion of sexual arousal. 

The female condom is easy to use. Insertion can be made a part of foreplay. Some couples make that part of their ritual. It is very hot for him to do the insertion—under her direction.

As we men age, our erectile response may become weaker or take longer. One of the great things about the FC2 is that the man can insert a flaccid penis before working up to an erection.

Strictly speaking, the FC2 is not a male sex toy, but it really can be. A man can use it, and I have, by himself, and find the sensations very pleasurable. One can’t say this about the standard male condom. This is not a minor issue.

When the FC2 female condom was introduced, it was pricey, but the cost has dropped. It's still more than a male condom, but not enough to be a problem.  Most drug stores still don’t carry the FC2 in stock, but Walgreens does, and others will follow as the FC2 gets more popular. They can also be purchased on-line from many vendors including Amazon.

Make the effort to buy the female condom, FC2, and try it. The FC2 is an excellent help in pleasuring ourselves and our partner while we protect our sexual health. You may never want to go back to the male condom—or, of course, to unprotected sex.

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. Please see Dr. Pittle's reviews on this blog of Hitachi Magic Wand , Vacuum Erection Devices, and 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.)