“I can feel my penis but not like before and I can get an erection but not very good and not for long. Can I use vibrators or something to help with my erection? Is it safe?”
Loss of sensation in the genitals and partial, or complete, erectile dysfunction is common after spinal cord injury. Because of the lack of sensation it can also be very difficult to achieve a satisfactory orgasm.
Sexual aids (sex toys) may help but do be careful when using them. The penis rings and vibrator we discuss below should help you to achieve a good quality erection and to keep it long enough to ensure satisfaction.
You can buy most sex toys over the internet but the problem is what to buy and how to use them. Check the Yellow Pages for adult shops and visit one. The best time is early in the morning as they are usually quiet then, making your visit discreet and providing the shop assistant with the time to explain the products, and their uses, to you. They are usually quite comfortable answering your questions.
The shops have a range of products and it is easy to be overwhelmed by the variety so I shall limit this guide to the basics.
Vibrators are either penis-shaped or just cylindrical with a rounded tip. They are powered by batteries and have a small motor inside that causes it to vibrate when switched on. Many vibrators have a variable speed whilst less expensive ones have a simple on and off switch.
One of the best, and cheapest, is known as a Pocket Rocket and sells for around R100. It is a mini vibrator, about 10cm long, that looks like a small torch so it will not cause embarrassment if it is accidentally left lying around. They are on/off only, take a single AA battery and usually have inter-changeable attachments on the front. It so happens that this little device vibrates at a frequency that can produce an orgasm in less than two minutes for both men and women.
The Pocket Rocket is for external use on the clitoris or on the frenulum of the penis for men. If you find the vibration too powerful you can place the corner of a sheet, towel or face cloth over the tip of the rocket to soften the sensation a litttle. Its small size allows you to explore your entire body testing the vibrations on other erogenous zones such as the nipples, inner thighs and tummy. This vibrator is NOT designed for vaginal or anal insertion.Dildos have been around since ancient times and can be used for penetration of any orifice you choose.
They do not twist, shake, rattle or roll as they are not powered. Dildos are usually shaped to look like a penis and are available in a wide variety of materials such as glass, acrylic, silicone, hard plastic and latex.
With some nifty planning dildos can be attached to, or inserted into, a universal handcuff to provide extra stimulation to your partner if your hand function is limited.
Many women are sensitive to stimulation of the opening of the cervix (at the deepest end of the vagina) and a dildo is often the best object to use for this. Women with vaginal sensitivity and reproductive disorders often prefer to use glass dildos due to its non-irritating surface and smooth feel.
If the dildo is intended for anal insertion it must have a flared base, to prevent it from slipping all the way in, which would require an embarrassing visit to the local clinic!!!!WARNING!!! Penis rings that are too tight, or kept on for longer than 30 minutes, can be dangerous.
Penis rings are worn by men. The ring is placed at the base of the penis to trap blood inside the penis. This helps to maintain a stronger erection for longer. Rings are most commonly found in leather, rubber or silicone, though nylon and metal are also used, either as the main component or as part of the closure. Some models have slightly protruding stimulators, to provide pleasure for your partner.
Rubber and latex rings are stretched and placed at the base of the penis once an erection has been achieved whilst solid rings are placed at the base of the soft/flaccid penis and only restrict blood flow once the penis becomes erect. Solid penis rings are often difficult to remove once an orgasm has been reached and their use should therefore be restricted to experienced users.
Newer solid penis rings have quick release mechanisms making it easier to remove.
All penis rings may slip off when used with too much lubrication. They also get caught in pubic hair.
Using a penis ring may cause priapism or the onset of dysreflexia and should never be used if you have cardiovascular problems, diabetes or use blood thinners.
Because they constrict and interrupt the supply of blood to the penis the penis ring should never be left in place for longer than 30 minutes.
Falling asleep, using drugs or excessive alcohol should be avoided when using a penis ring.
If you feel any pain, excessive discomfort or a cold numbness in the genitals then the penis ring MUST be removed.
Anal beads are strings of beads (can vary in size) which are introduced through the anus into the rectum and are then removed, at varying speeds, depending on the effect desired.
People who use anal beads enjoy the feeling that is created as the balls brush past the prostate gland and sphincter of the anus.
Both the beads and the rectum MUST ALWAYS be well lubricated with a water based lubricant to prevent ripping, tearing and other injuries.
Anal sex toys should be well washed in warm, soapy water and left to dry naturally after use.
All sex toys MUST be kept clean AT ALL TIMES - especially toys made of silicone.
Lubricants with an oil or silicone base should be avoided as the lubricant causes the material to break down. An easy trick to keep sex toys in good order is to pop a condom over it before use. Condoms are pre-lubricated with water based lubricant. After use the condom can be discarded, the toy cleaned, and it’s ready for next time.
Any toy or body part used anally MUST be cleaned before vaginal intercourse as nasty, infectious bacteria thrive in the rectum.
With little or no sensation in the genital or anal areas extra care must be taken to avoid injury and skin lesions.
Vacuum pumps and penis rings should be avoided if there are open sores, cuts or bruises present on the penis.