Movember means mo’ attention for the formidable prostate. Our Sex Detective gets to the bottom of the most misunderstood sex organ since the clitoris
For those of us who have a vested interest in the city’s sex life, the annual Movember campaign is notable for two reasons. First, it reveals that the average human male is only a few blunt razorblades and an empty can of Gillette away from turning into a 1970s pornstar. The second is that it creates a flurry of attention around the prostate—particularly what it does when it’s not going rogue and killing its owner.
Occasionally, the odd workshop on the gland’s pleasure principles will pop up. On a recent Wednesday evening, Toronto sex writer Jon Pressick held one such seminar at the Come As You Are sex shop on Queen West. I dutifully sat in on the proceedings.
As it turns out, Pressick is quite the prostate devotee. “Prostate stimulation is awesome,” was his opening line, which he followed with, “That touch is like a lightning bolt of energy. It is intense, it is amazing, it is overpowering.”
Given that the prostate is located a few inches into the male buttocks, it was perhaps unwise to choose an analogy centered on the violent transmission of vast quantities of electrical current, but I got Pressick’s general point. So, too, did the roughly 15 other people in the attentive audience, who had gathered around the back of the store.
A few couples came together, but everyone else had attended solo. There were about nine or 10 middle-aged men—or, in the gender-neutral parlance favoured by sex workshops, persons with prostates—and the remainder were women of various ages. I assumed they were straight or bi and anticipating access to prostates in their futures.
It’s widely believed that, when touched or stroked gently, the prostate is capable of producing a powerful sensation that is comparable to the female orgasm in strength and duration. It’s apparently so different from a run-of-the-mill male orgasm that it can come as quite a shock the first time it happens, not least because it can make a guy ejaculate, even if his penis isn’t hard. (Of course, to get that far, a man has to be willing to have a finger or dildo inserted into his behind, but, moving on…).
As with negotiating the infamous clitoris, zeroing in on the gland is a matter of patience and mechanics. For newbie prostate probers, Pressick advises having your gentleman friend lay on his back, relaxing him, and then slowly inserting a finger into his butt. (Ah, romance). Curve your fingertip up slightly; the prostate should be dead ahead. Then, it’s a matter of gently pushing or stroking it to a state of bliss, which tends to take a lot longer to induce than the usual male orgasm. Hand or arm cramps are an occupational hazard.
The female attendees, clearly aware of their active role in all of this, seemed particularly engaged in Pressick’s talk. The questions they fired off revealed a distinctly goal-oriented mindset: “How far in is it?” (About two or three inches). “What does it feel like?” (An almond). “Do I have to touch it directly or are its surroundings sensitive, too?” (A direct touch is preferable). “Which finger is best?” (Any. Just trim the nail first.)
Curious to know what had motivated the non-prostate-owners to come to the workshop, I cornered a couple of them during a break to browse the shop’s sex-toy stock. One woman reported that her partner was more experienced and that she “felt kind of like a dork for not knowing this stuff.” The other emphasized gender equality, saying that much is written about how men can give women better orgasms, so she was keen on learning the skills necessary to return the favour.
When we reconvened, it was show-and-tell time. Standing in front of an anatomical drawing of the male pelvis, Pressick whipped out a half-dozen of his favourite prostate-tickling toys (and lube) and began discussing their pros and cons. While modern vaginal sex toys often mimic the sleek look of smartphones, their anal counterparts seem to take design cues from the world of science fiction. One of the leading brands, Aneros, produces smooth, rounded toys with a futuristic build, while the U-shaped Rocks Off Bad Boy looks like a mock ray gun made for an entirely different use.
Unsurprisingly, toy choice seemed to be a matter of personal preference. One audience member told me I should only select toys with a bulbous bit at the end to hit the prostate; another suggested that texture and softness were important. People seemed divided on whether vibration was a plus or not. One thing everyone agreed on, though, was that the toy had to have a big base to hold onto. There are some things in life you really don’t want to lose your grip on.