The first thing to know about sex toys for men is that, yes, they exist. “A lot of people are surprised that there can be products for men,” says Andy Duran, educational outreach coordinator at sex-toy retailer Good Vibrations. People often think vibrators, for instance, are “very gendered and designed for women, but the reality is that our bodies are all pretty similar. We all have nerve endings that respond to vibration, or touch, or stimulation.” Although sexuality is highly personal, we set out to find a variety of options for a variety of preferences with the guidance of experts who would know best. We talked to 13 different people, including sex-shop owners and employees, sex educators, sex therapists, sex coaches, and sex podcasters to find the best sex toys for men. Since the experts say you’ll want a different type of toy depending on the type of pleasure and play you’re seeking, we’ve broken them into categories, with the most recommended toys at the top of each.
Best overall ring
If you’re thinking you want to try out a toy but don’t know exactly where to start, most of the experts we spoke with said a “ring” toy would be a great choice, and Zachary Zane, a sex writer for Men’s Health, says, “My advice would be to definitely start with a vibrating cock ring.” In his opinion, the vibrations can add a lot to the overall experience, especially when you’re with a partner. As he puts it, “No matter how good you are at sex with your partner, you can’t vibrate.” Duran also likes vibrating rings because they’re “like two toys in one.” While the wearer gets the benefits of blood-flow restriction, “your partner will feel that vibration on their body during intercourse,” adding that “even if it doesn’t work out as a vibrating ring, you still have this great vibrator or this great ring you can use separately.”
Two experts we spoke to say this cock ring from Je Joue is the best in its class for both comfort and power. “The Mio is top of my list when it comes to vibrating cock rings,” says Lisa Finn, a brand manager and sex educator at Babeland. “The motor is powerful despite the ring not being bulky, and it has a rumbly sensation that delivers deep, penetrating vibration for both partners to enjoy.” Sid Azmi, a sexual therapist and the owner of Please in Brooklyn, agrees, noting that the type of vibration is critical when it comes to higher-tech rings like this one. “Some products have a loud rumble, and some have a tight rumble, with shorter frequencies and more of a ‘buzzing’ sensation,” and for a cock ring, Azmi says that a tight rumble is crucial. “Due to its location near the ballsack, loud vibrations can create pain in a lot of males who aren’t careful.” Finn adds that this ring is “made of a super stretchy yet durable silicone, which gives a comfortable fit on a variety of sizes,” another point echoed by Azmi. “Some cock rings are so tiny and tight, it’s like wrapping a thin piece of rubber around your finger. The Mio is superior to the competition from that perspective.”
More expert-recommended rings
Sometimes you just want something simple. For those times, you can’t go wrong with this minimalist silicone ring. Finn suggests using it “to enhance masturbation or partner play, or to prolong playtime before orgasm.” You can also use it “as a bumper to prevent too-deep thrusting during intercourse,” she says.
Samantha Bard, co-owner of the Williamsburg sex shop and event space Shag, particularly likes the We-Vibe Pivot, which she calls “the Cadillac of cock rings.” You can control the vibration on the actual toy if you want, but the best part of the Pivot, according to her, is the included smartphone app. “You can share it with up to ten people, and they can control it from anywhere in the world and fully customize the vibration patterns.” The ability to control the Pivot from across the dinner table is part of what makes it “really popular,” she says. Plus, Bard adds that “it’s [even more discreet] than having a remote in your pocket,” because it just looks like you’re on your phone.
For a simpler, more affordable vibrating ring, Duran recommends this option from Screaming O. Simply stretch it around the base of your erect penis, and switch it on. While it’s only designed for one-time use, and doesn’t have the cross-platform connectivity of the others, it’s still an effective, discreet, and travel-friendly option for first-timers.
Dr. Steven Snyder, a New York City sex therapist and author, says the “really hot thing” among his patients right now is this stretchy ring, which he describes as less of a toy and more of a practical solution when you or your partner’s size is causing pain. “It’s a series of very soft flexible rings that nest on top of each other, which means you can use between one and four of them depending on your size. They give a different sensation for penetration and are excellent if a man is going in too deeply.”
For sexually adventurous guys looking for a more advanced ring, Azmi recommends this stretchy “sling,” which combines a cock ring with an additional “ball-stretching” ring. The constricting sensation it delivers around the top of the testicles, according to Azmi, is “a pleasurable feeling for men who are open to it” because it heightens one of the body’s natural responses to being aroused. “If you watch a man’s anatomy when he’s getting turned on, you can see the balls tense up. This relatively inexpensive product heightens that tension.”