It is nearing the end of International Masturbation Month. If you’ve been celebrating the month, you might have used your hands celebrate yourself a few times this month as well. While our using our hands during self-pleasuring can be enjoyable, there is value in exploring and experimenting with toys.
The simple fact is toys can do things that your hands can’t. From vibrating to pulsating to rumbling to buzzing, toys can offer us a wide variety of stimulation and sensation that our hands are unable to provide. The beauty of this is that toys allow us to explore new pathways of pleasure in our body. A vibrator for example, may have a particular function that stimulates you in a novel way, giving you an opportunity to experience a pleasurable sensation that you’ve never felt before. These new sensations can help us learn about our body and the ways in which we experience pleasure.
If you’re used to using you hand to self-pleasure in an up-and-down, friction-based way, toys such as strokers and sleeve-like masturbatory aids offer a totally different experience than your hand. The soft silicone of these toys more closely resembles the texture and firmness of another person’s body, which can help you to explore the ways in which you feel overstimulated and need to slow down or the ways in which you feel like you can keep going and last longer. While your hand can help with this, it is usually much more effective – and pleasurable! – to use a toy with some lube.
Overall, toys are great extensions of our own self-pleasuring. Some toys require the use of your hands, others do not. Some toys are small, and you might forget you’re using one. Other toys are large and demand that you be present with them. In all cases, the use of a toy can be a way to lean into your curiosity, explore new sensations, and learn more about your pleasure.
You may have seen the beautiful artwork [swipe to see] comparing vocal chords and the vulva (from @luisaalexandre), bringing light to the connection between these areas of the female body, noting the body's tendency to replicate and repeat (by @myorgasmiclife).
I felt inspired to create my own version for male bodies. I'm no artist but managed to rustle up this rendition of the pituitary gland and testicles to highlight the link between brain and balls. They're similar in shape but also share an neuroendocrinological and energetic connection.
Sperm production requires a complex interaction between two parts of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, and the testes. The relationship is referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis), describing the direct and critical link between the brain and balls.
Dysregulation of the HPG axis can lead to loss of cognitive function (Vadakkadath et al., 2005). It is important to maintain healthy interactions between the brain and balls. One way to do this is gently, rhythmically squeezing your testicles.
The testicles actually contain three times as many unique proteins than the brain, according to The Human Protein Atlas. Our biological processes are carried out by proteins, which give each organ its function. To support this, you can shake and chant, vibrating both your actual balls and the little balls in your brain.
Energetically, the pituitary gland is sometimes associated with Ajna Chakra, the third eye, and the gonads with Muladhara, the root Chakra. These are the two poles of energy in our body.
Muladhara represents everything in its potential state, all that we could realize, express and become. Kundalini is said to lie dormant here. Ajna is the chakra of the mind, the chakra by which we are aware. It is fundamental for awakening consciousness. The infinite energy is at Muladhara, but we become aware of it through Ajna.
All energetic centres are important, but Ajna and Muladhara, the brain and the balls, are the two easiest ones to concentrate on in order to bring about the greatest awakening of energy and release the maximum possibilities and creativity in life.
In ancient Roman religion and magic, the fascinus or fascinum was the embodiment of the divine phallus, often depicted as a winged phallus.
The English word "fascinate" ultimately derives from the late 16th century Latin fascinat, in the sense "bewitch," from the verb fascinare, from fascinum, "spell, witchcraft."
Roman myths suggest that the phallus was an embodiment of a masculine generative power, regarded as sacred. Winged phallic charms were ubiquitous in Roman culture, appearing as objects of jewellery such as pendants and finger rings, relief carvings, lamps, and wind chimes.
Fascinus was thought to ward off evil from children, mainly boys, and from conquering generals. The protective function of the phallus is usually related to the virile and regenerative powers of an erect phallus.
The magic of the divine phallus was manifested in it's capacity for tumescence and detumescence, that is to become erect, then flaccid, essentially dying, and becoming erect again, being re-erected, or resurrected.
The English words "resurrection" and "erection" are ultimately derived from the same etymon. Resurrection is derived from resurgere, from re- and surgere, the syncopated form of subrigere, from sub- and regere. Erection is derived from erectus, the perfect passive participle of the verb erigere, from e- and regere.
Remember and reconnect with the magic and sacredness of the phallus. If you're the owner of a penis, tap into these in your own body, recognizing the magic and sacredness that is the process of your erection, from tumescence, as well as your detumescence, becoming flaccid again.
Just about every man - regardless of the actual size of his penis - worries about being too small. In fact, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Health Psychology, men list the size of their penises among their top body concerns along with height and weight.
Some men experience extreme self-consciousness regarding their penis size, fretting that others will be able to see the size or shape of their penis even when they have trousers on. Wylie and Eardley (2007) call this excessive concern 'small penis syndrome'.
A man might not actually have a small or short penis, but that doesn’t mean this psychological condition can’t have an impact for him physically. For example, men who think they have a small penis might be less likely to visit sexual health clinics for check-ups.
Most men find the combination of sex education with standard penile measurements helpful and relieving. This combination can correct any previous sexual misconceptions, relieve unnecessary anxiety concerning penile size, and decrease the desire to undertake still-to-be verified lengthening procedures (Shamloul, 2005).
While reassurance about average sizes is often comforting for most men, for some men who are very anxious, it doesn’t make any difference to them because they feel that they are inferior. It's an emotional feeling of penis shame and can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying anxiety problem.
If you find yourself worrying about your penis size on a daily basis, or if the intensity of your anxiety seems excessive, you may want to focus on daily anxiety management. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises can help to reduce your anxiety.
Additionally, you may want to try minimizing your anxiety triggers. For example, watching mainstream porn can expose you to skewed representations of penis size. So watching less mainstream porn or watching porn with more diversity can be helpful.
This blog aims to discuss all things masculinity, sexuality, male bodies and men's experience of pleasure.