Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Toybox: Aneros', uh, Aneros.

I'm a reasonably open-minded guy. I'm very GGG with my partners. When I learned that Diva was experimenting with enemas, I was cool. When I learned that the Tomboy had ponygirl fantasies, I considered getting her a bit gag for her birthday. When the Grrl revealed that she really got off on bondage fantasies featuring space aliens, I smiled and started renting tentacle hentai. When I figured out that Shayne loves to be used and abused like a useless little cockslut getting fucked by a Daddy, I saw the potential for marital bliss.

Receptive anal play has never been a staple in my sexual diet, and prostate play even less so, but it's not something I'm completely foreign to. I've never known a lover who wanted (much less likely knew how) to "milk my prostate" during a blowjob. Perhaps it's because I have yet to have a partner who has pro-actively initiated interest in exploring that sort of territory with me, although it was a brief topic with both the Grrl and Shayne. In my past, I've enjoyed experimenting with small plugs like the Pink Paradise or the Red Stallion, but something specifically designed for prostate exploration was virgin ground.

Many men have hangups when it comes to sextoys for ourselves. This is probably for good reason: We're socialized to deny our sensual natures. Plus, perhaps up until very recently, sextoy marketing strategies have long been designed to celebrate women's sexuality. Male sextoys, on the other hand, seemed the sort of thing reserved for filthy roadside porn shops and made from cheap materials. Sextoys for men were the sort of thing that "guys who couldn't get laid" were "forced" to use, rather than being enjoyed (even with your partner!) as a fun thing to experience for its own merit. How repressed we dudes can often be.

Along with two other glands, the prostate is in the cum-making business. It secretes and stores a zinc-rich alkaline fluid that consists of up to 30% of semen, and its this fluid that reduces vaginal acidity for sperm survival. It also features muscles that aid in ejaculation, which may explain why for some older men, cum bursts may get reduced in both volume and pressure. In stroking, or "milking," the so-called "p-spot," toys like the Aneros are designed to greatly enhance male orgasm by stimulating this happy cum-maker.

Originally developed by another company as an alternative means to treat prostate problems, Texas-based manufacturer Aneros now holds the patent to their flagship male sextoy, the (wait for it...) Aneros. In Japan, it's marketed as the Enemagra (エネマグラ).

The elegantly shaped device has been designed to complement male anatomy and, according to an enthusiast website, "combined with ancient Oriental awareness of erogenous zones and pleasure centers." It features three primary components, including a quaint curved handle. A nub is intended to stimulate the perineum, and after insertion, the wavy shaft is designed to cradle against the prostate. The receiver is then intended to simply flex his sphincter, which in turn moves the toy gently and provides a massage motion against and along the prostate. This makes the Aneros unique among anal toys: unlike buttplugs or dildos, repeated penetrative insertion (yeah, fucking) is actually advised against. "The Aneros is completely hands-free," the Aneros website tells us, "which means manual manipulation of the device is never needed. In fact, we recommend to never use your hands to move the device - it is counter-productive and possibly dangerous to do so" (emphasis mine).

Slip it in. Leave it in. Squeeze the sphincter. Got it?

Of its material, the packaging only tells us that the Aneros is made from "FDA-approved materials," with the website adding that its from "a high-quality, non-porous, medical-grade plastic." Is it because of patent issues that this seems so vague?

It appears nowhere in its packaging information, but the Aneros is made from the polyoxymethylene engineering plastic acetal. Some polyoxymethylenes are reputed to have a slight odor of formaldehyde, but I couldn't detect any such odor from the Aneros.

Admittedly, when I opted to experiment with this toy, I expected that gentle prostate stroking was in itself the way toward intense ejaculation. This, at least, was my impression as I read all the hype and advertising. I soon realized that I wasn't entirely correct.

Let's go on a short tangent together. Come walk with me.

"With the Aneros, a man can achieve strong, continuous full-body orgasms previously unattainable through conventional sexual techniques," the advertising claimed. "These orgasms are so earth-shattering that they deserve a special nickname - The Super Orgasm, or as our enthusiasts prefer, The "Super-O." A Super-O is entirely different from a traditional penile orgasm - it is characterized by pleasure starting from the lower abdomen that awashes the entire body in a state of bliss."

Oh. Ok.

"The man does not ejaculate during a Super-O."


"This means there is no "recharging" or "time out" period needed. Through practice, a man can have these orgasms, one after the other during sessions lasting for an hour or more at a time. Even short sessions can feel long as our customers have reported that during Super-O sessions their "beds shake uncontrollably" and they "lose all track and sense of time."

Ok, good to know, but what you're also telling me is that no, your toy isn't necessarily going to make me burst loads of cum. In fact, you found it necessary to market your product to me in such a way that you had to "create a need" and slickly redefine what a man might consider as the vital point to having an orgasm in the first place. Ejaculation? Well, no, uh, or maybe, you say... but here: have a non-ejaculatory "Super-O" instead!

In fact, there are Aneros enthusiasts out there who have sought to develop a "Super-O Society," complete with its own Wiki page and nifty corporate logo. These enthusiasts, of course, are not Aneros employees, despite their presence on the business website.

Why do I feel like someone is trying to market something that's already natural to my own body back to me? Wouldn't it be easier if I just sent them a cheque every time I jacked off?

... I know. I'm a cynic. And it isn't that I disregard non-ejaculatory orgasms for men: I have them often when I'm jacking and it's also an important component to tantra. But if I were a guy who, in buying this product, fully expected that my orgasm would mean having the Mother of All Loads, I might find myself a tad disappointed when that didn't happen. Especially with so much hype about the "most incredible" "mind blowing" "intense" "life changing" "new paradise" promised to me by the hyperbolic advertising.

Just sayin.

But that's more of a critique to the suits in Aneros' advertising cubicles, and the way us good consumers succumb to marketing hype, than a reflection of the product itself. Maybe if the packaging only suggested to me that the Aneros had the potential to introduce me to sensual stimulations that most men tend to ignore, then maybe my intelligence wouldn't feel so insulted and I wouldn't be a smartass and take my toy reviews on these interesting tangents.

Because, sarcasm aside, the Aneros definitely does have an interesting effect. Those same Super-O Society "enthusiasts" might neener-neener me by saying that I hadn't "awakened my prostate," was too focused on my "penile centered experiences," but the truth is that after a few tries, there was some difference in my semen volume. It also didn't take as long to cum, which for (sometimes frustratingly) long-lasting guys like me, can be a relief. The sensation against the prostate took a little getting used to, and being as relaxed as possible is key. Try to imagine having your balls gently tugged and stroked from the opposite end, that is to say, from inside your body, and as if part of your balls themselves were inside your abdomen as well. Yeah, I know, it's weird. But the really cool thing is that when you do ejaculate, those sphincter contractions become involuntary anyway, and this means that your orgasm is going to get immediately affected without any more conscious control on your part. kapowie!

Variants include the Aneros Progasm, a larger toy offering a "fuller" feeling and the Titus, a ribbed stimulator that looks as though it's about to be thrown at me by a crazed ninja. Like the Aneros, the Glide appears to have been developed with beginners in mind, and the Pandora also features a vibrating function.

"The Aneros can also be used to great effect during traditional sexual encounters. During oral sex and traditional intercourse, when the man uses the Aneros he will be harder, last longer, have better control. His prostate will empty more fully during ejaculation, which means a more intense and satisfying orgasm. This increased sexual performance is a great secondary benefit for the partner as well. The Aneros is a great way to explore and expand your intimacy with your partner."

So, it's slightly pandering marketing strategy and online "community" flag-waving aside, these anus-happy Texans are trying to remind us men that our sexuality doesn't always have to be centered around just our cocks. A lot of us (those who like to kiss, caress, cuddle, spank, etc) likely already know that, but it's probably very true that many of us haven't given much thought to our interior 'nads. The Aneros, it seems, can open guys to entirely unexplored sensual terrain, and so long as you don't mind looking like a wind-up toy while you're fucking your partner, can probably greatly enhance things for you during your, uh, "traditional intercourse."


Anonymous said...

great information!

Anonymous said...

I purchase an aneros, it is very pleasurable but I haven't experienced a Super O, even though some cum does come out.