The Hottest Trend in Male Sex Toys Is Pretty Much a Dildo You Wear Over Your Penis

by Jessica Ogilvie

The guy in the YouTube video holds up a clear, stretchy tube as he gushes into the camera.

“[I’m] doing a review on… this product, which I love!!!” he exclaims. “I love it, I’m gonna scream it from the mountaintops, I love this thing… what is it? Let me tell you — it is the Fat Boy Cock Sheath. Yasssss!”

The item about which the reviewer, Brad Smith, is so excited is a sleeve that fits over the penis. Made by a Florida-based company called Perfect Fit, the Fat Boy Stretchy Cock Extender (the toy’s full, given name) is one of the few sex toys for men, and does pretty much exactly what it says it does — extend your dick.

Or, as Smith puts it, “It’ll make you super girth-y! We can all be more girth-y, right?”

Perfect Fit owner and CEO Steve Callow says he created the Fat Boy line in 2011 after recognizing an opportunity in the market. Most other extenders at the time were made from harder material, which could bring a promising evening to a quick halt. “The guy would lose his erection in the process of [having sex],” Callow says. “They were designed only for the receiver’s benefit.”

Wanting to create a product that would feel good to both partners, Callow developed the much softer SilaSkin, a blend of thermoplastic rubber and silicone that compresses as much as it expands. Fat Boys are made completely of SilaSkin, and come in four sizes that add anywhere from a half-inch to a full inch of girth. Lined on the inside with rims and nubs for texture, the toys have holes at the bottom for the testicles, providing stability as well as a little extra tug.

“The idea was to create movement on the penis, and also movement for the receiver,” says Callow. “We wanted both partners to be able to feel pleasure.”

The Fat Boy line is among the more popular extenders on the market, but it’s not the only one. Victor Tobar, the national buying and merchandising manager for the Pleasure Chest, says that most adult toy stores offer a variety of what are alternately called penis sleeves, sheaths, cock enhancers or extenders. They’re used for both partner sex and masturbation, and have a range of differences in design: Some are firmer, some more squishy. Some add a lot of girth, some just a little boost. They come in many different colors and shapes, and there are many add-ons like extra rims or tighter rings at the base.

Tobar adds that the reasons for trying penis extenders are as varied as the customers themselves — and it’s often not about enhanced size at all. “For some people, it’s about changing the sensation of penetration with one that’s super textured or softer,” says Tobar. “Other people want ones that are a little firmer, if they’re having erections that aren’t as firm as they would like them to be. Some are made to look like skin tones, whereas [some] look a little more hardcore and less discreet.”

As for how it feels to be on the receiving end, U.K.-based sex educator Rachael McCoy of Inspiring Sexuality says in her YouTube review, “It looks a little bit scary and daunting. [But] the girth that this is going to add to your man’s cock is insane. And if you’re not struggling in the old girth department, this is just going to make your man’s cock even bigger. … It made [her partner] feel really manly and masculine, but it also made me even tighter, because obviously it pushed everything in together.”

Maybe most importantly, McCoy also addresses the elephant in the room: Wouldn’t most men be too embarrassed to tell their partner that they wanted — or needed — a penis extender?

She claims absolutely not. If anything, she says, it can offer the best of both worlds: “Originally, I would’ve thought [it] would’ve made my man feel a bit inferior. But actually, it made him feel fantastic. We had lots of fun while wearing it, and when it came off, that skin-to-skin contact felt really, really good as well.”


Don’t Be That Guy… to the Women You’re Trying to Sleep With

Illustration by Dave van Patten

Tracy Moore

Dudes gotta dude, but must you dude like this… to the other half of the population?

Men who date, marry and love women sometimes have a funny way of showing it. This week gave evidence to some strangely misguided approaches for how men coexist with the other half the population, even when they ostensibly love and care about them.

Your Stalker Is Calling

Men in India, Morocco and other places where gender segregation still reigns supreme have found an ingenious yet deeply alarming way to try to meet women: Calling random numbers until someone answers, hoping to strike up a conversation, The New York Times reported. They are called “Phone Romeos,” and it’s literally what it sounds like. They call up random women and attempt to woo them with the kind of lines that only the most hard-up would swoon for.

“Among them are overeager suitors (‘Can I recharge your mobile?’), tremulous supplicants (‘I am talking to you, madam, but my body is shaking’) and the occasional heavy breather (‘I want to do the illegal things with you’),” the Times wrote.

The men are extremely persistent, buying rosters of numbers in bulk, using multiple SIM cards and false names to avoid being identified, or keep pestering women who aren’t interested (which would be most of them). One police call center in India said they get some 700 calls a day from women complaining about these total weirdos. “Sometimes they call and say, ‘I love you,’” a woman told the Times. “Sometimes they call and say, ‘I want to talk to Sonia,’ and I would say, ‘I am not Sonia,’ and they would say, ‘Okay, can I talk to you?’”

Weirder still is that sometimes the scam actually works — one woman in the story has been talking with her gentleman caller for 11 months, though they still haven’t met in person. Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, no matter how much it wants to do the illegal things with you.

Dick Moves

When Talking Points Memo reporter Alice Ollstein asked Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) if he was in favor of the Republican healthcare plan meant to replace Obamacare cutting essential health benefits like breast cancer screenings, he was a big old dick to her:

He later apologized, CNN reported, saying he knew mammograms were essential to women’s health, but they noted he’d also previously said to CNN he wouldn’t need mammograms personally since he’s a dude anyway — a funny comment from a man with a wife and two daughters. Two shitty comments and one dick apology make a visual dick and pair of balls of dickness.

52 Percent Stupid

A nonpartisan poll found that while the majority of Americans are cool with reproductive rights, 52 percent of men don’t think they personally have benefited from women in their lives having easy or affordable access to birth control, ThinkProgress reported. That is weird because unplanned pregnancy is very expensive. Perhaps these men inadvertently revealed they are, in fact, the precise percentage of the population that never gets laid.


How Gaston Became the World’s Most Beloved Disney Villain

Via Beauty and the Beast (1991)

by John McDermott

More than any other Disneyland character, he’s an attraction unto himself

Walk around Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and eventually you’ll run into some Hollywood wannabe play-acting as a classic Disney character.

Most of the theme park characters are Disney “princesses” (Belle, Cinderella, Pocahontas et al), and little girls get awestruck when confronted with the living, breathing incarnations of their animated heroines. But the characters mostly serve as ambient noise to the site’s bigger attractions — it’s a delightful surprise to see Chip ‘n’ Dale when you’re hurrying over to Space Mountain.

One character is truly an attraction unto himself, though, and he’s both a man and a villain: Gaston — the ignorant, misogynistic, Beast-hunting hunk who unsuccessfully courts Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Women seek him out to flirt and/or challenge his sexist views, and men to emasculate him. Then they gleefully share their interactions with him online.

One popular YouTube video shows a crowd of Disney World attendees laughing as Gaston spouts horribly sexist remarks at a plucky young girl. “I don’t know where this girl came from, but somebody needs to put her back in a kitchen right now!” he shouts. Later, he and the girl pose for a photo together, and Gaston tells her to “smile like you’re going to make me a sandwich.”

Another video shows a man challenging Gaston to a push-up contest, and Gaston soundly kicking his ass. Gaston even switches to one-handed push-ups toward the end, just to show the guy up.

Crowds “ooh” and “ahh” as he sways with a young girl dressed as Belle. Not long afterward, he asks her to massage his feet. Groups of women gather to hear him brag about how handsome he is and how he’s going to impregnate them. To make him jealous, many women tell him he’ll never win Belle’s hand, or bring their boyfriends around to meet him. Others challenge him to arm-wrestling contests. And there are hundreds of thousands of Instagram photos of people posing with a flexing, preening, smirking Gaston.

Somehow, the biggest douchebag in the entire Disney universe has become a charming meme.

When I first discovered the internet’s fascination with Gaston, I was stunned. He embodies toxic masculinity. He’s brash and arrogant, and totally lacking in empathy. He measures a man’s worth in physical strength, and values Belle only for her looks. He gains respect through intimidation, and tries to resolve conflict with violence. He’s uneducated, and disapproves of Belle reading books. “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking,” he says in the 1991 animated film. Worst, he keeps pestering Belle despite her explicit lack of interest and repeated attempts to get away from him.

Gaston seems totally wrong for our current cultural moment, in which boorish men are being gradually pushed to the cultural fringe—or, at least they were. The president, of course, has a lengthy track record of misogynistic comments and actions; meanwhile, as a hunter, Gaston has commonalities with the blue-collar American men who have seen their professional and marriage prospects diminish in the global economy.

But here were adults laughing at Gaston for telling an adorable little girl her place is in the kitchen. Part of the joy of that video is that the girl doesn’t back down, repeatedly telling Gaston he’s never going to win over Belle, and that the Beast is stronger than him. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching someone stand up to a bully, especially when that someone is a grade-schooler.

Still, that’s a pretty fucked-up thing to say to an impressionable kid, and I had trouble understanding why Gaston, of all characters, inspired such wide appeal. Which is I ponied up $110 for a one-day Disneyland ticket in order to meet Gaston myself.

Gaston doesn’t disappoint. Many of the characters (including Belle and Beast) just cruise through the park and wave at children shouting their names. Gaston, on the other hand, commands a scene. I find him in Fantasyland, surrounded by a throng of park attendees (mostly women), striking bodybuilder poses and telling his admirers how lucky they are to be in his presence. “I’m perfect,” he says. (His costume has fake bicep muscles and lats built into it.) “I’m the only one that matters.”…



The Fallopian Dudes Urge Men to Stand Up for Women’s Health in Trump’s America

by Sophia Kercher

‘Gynecology is not a threat to your gayness or masculinity or whatever else you think you’re defending’

After the Women’s March on January 21, The Washington Post published an op-ed with the headline “At the Women’s March, it’s the men who mattered most.”

Any number of tweets and blog posts immediately called out The Post for a tone-deaf, insulting headline that placed men at the center of a movement that was started by and for women.

Russell Brown felt similarly enraged. As co-creator of the Los Angeles men’s activist group the Fallopian Dudes, Brown aims to get guys involved in standing up for women’s rights — without necessarily putting themselves at the heart of the story.

“Part of the DNA of this group is acknowledging that too often men think we are the center of the conversation, or that our opinions are the most important ones,” Brown says. “And I want so much to counteract that mentality, especially as it relates to female health.”

Brown is the co-founder of Poke Acupuncture, where women’s health issues are an important part of his practice. He formed Fallopian Dudes withwriter/creative director Mark Jacobs, initially as an effort to get guys to participate and show solidarity at the Los Angeles Women’s March. Brown and Jacobs reached out to their community — particularly gay men — in an effort to get them to recognize women as political allies and not simply family members, peers, co-workers, or “party friends.”

The two created a Facebook group inviting guys to join them at the Los Angeles Women’s March. “We had no idea what the turnout would be in terms of anyone, let alone men or certain kinds of men,” Jacobs says. “So it was really about just creating a group — an access point for people to show up.”

On the sunny Saturday morning of the march, more than 100 men joined the Fallopian Dudes meet-up spot near downtown Los Angeles.

Brown and Jacobs were prepared.

The Fallopian Dude co-founders handed out more than 70 black shirts that read, “We Are With You,” and made dozens of signs with stenciled letters and a stark white or yellow background, recalling 1960s-era protest signs. Their striking signage varied from heartfelt to angry with phrases like: “I Owe My Life to Women, “Equal Pay is Hot as Fuck” or “Mike Pence Kills Women.”

“We were really specific as gay guys. There would be marches where signs would say ‘Trump Sashay Away’—we didn’t want to play into that trope,” Jacobs says between sips of coffee at a café on Sunset Boulevard.

The two wanted to make shirts that read “Men for Menses,” but they encountered a problem. “Most gay men did not know what menses was; they thought that menses was plural for men.” (It’s actually menstrual flow.)

It’s conversations like this one that Brown and Jacobs feel are more needed in their community.

“In the gay communities a general misogyny is sometimes accepted toward women; there is a way that gay men talk about women’s bodies — and all these jokes, you know, a period, icky,” Jacobs says. “So one of the reasons we ended up with the name Fallopian Dudes is that it’s silly, it’s playful, but it was also making these people say [words related to] female anatomy.”

Brown recalls the post-election 60 Minutes interview in which Trump announced that he didn’t plan to dismantle same-sex marriage but he was working to overturn Roe v. Wade and repeal the Affordable Care Act (which provides free birth control for many women). Brown’s Facebook echo chamber of gay men erupted with celebratory posts. He refreshed his newsfeed to find update after update with posts such as, “Maybe the next four years won’t be so bad.” Brown was furious. He couldn’t believe his friends were popping bottles for gay marriage when the progress of women’s health and autonomy was about to be steamrolled by the Trump administration.

Shortly after that agonizing interview, Brown went to social media to share his frustration. He wrote a post on his Facebook wall entitled “Dear Gay Guys, You Are Not a Friend to Women Unless You Know What an IUD Is.”

For those who’ve been sleeping under a rock, an IUD, or an intrauterine device, is a small t-shaped device inserted in a woman’s cervix in an invasive and painful procedure. Brown added, “An IUD releases copper or artificial hormones to kill or block sperm and thin out the endometrial lining so periods are less intense.” Another upside? IUDs prevent pregnancy for approximately three to seven years — and can outlast President Trump’s term. (A repeal of the Affordable Care Act will likely mean access to many forms of birth control will be more costly, so IUDs have rapidly gained in popularity, as Brown pointed out.)…




You’re Probably Being Judged By Your Laugh

Quinn Myers

But can you do anything about it?

Whether we mean to or not, we’re all constantly judging each other, on everything from our handshakes to our gym clothes. Even our laugh — something we think of as involuntary — isn’t safe from this constant unconscious scrutiny, implying a range of potentially negative traits across both class and gender. We’ve all nudged a friend in a restaurant or movie theater on hearing a terrible or inappropriate laugh: Maybe it’s a guy with a shrill, emasculating giggle, or a woman with the husky, booming laugh of a Wild West bordello madame. Perhaps a person’s laugh makes them sound psychotically evil, or like an uncivilized buffoon. Maybe it’s someone whose laugh just flat-out sucks.

The big question, of course, is this: If you have a laugh you hate — and that you feel is causing other people to make unwanted assumptions about you — is there any way for you to change it?

First, the Bad News

Unfortunately, your involuntary laugh — that big belly laugh that erupts all the way from your diaphragm — is there for good. The thing to bear in mind here, though, is that it’s impossible to tailor your laugh to fit whatever specific image you’re trying to project anyway. While it’s generally true that guttural laughs like grunts, pants and snorts are perceived less positively than more musical laughs (literally, a “hahaha” sound), there aren’t any scientific studies that show we universally associate certain laughs with certain personalities.

“There are no specific sounds that would make a laugh objectively ‘too dirty’ or ‘too feminine,’” says Nadine Lavan, a psychologist at the University of London who specializes in laughter and nonverbal communication. “Laughter is totally dependent on the context and the listener — if you’re being judged unfavorably, that’s probably more of a reflection on who’s listening to you than on your laugh.”

In other words, we all interpret laughs differently, so the idea of a one-size-fits-all laugh is, well, laughable. Or to put it another way: If someone truly judges you based on your laugh, that says way more about them as a person than your laugh could ever say about you.

Now, the Good News

The thing few people realize about laughter is that the big belly laugh — the one we’re most wary of — only happens about 20 percent of the time. The rest of our laughs aren’t an involuntary reaction to something we find funny, but a part of our everyday language, injected into conversation as a sort of verbal punctuation. Whether it’s a polite, deferential titter or an encouraging, affectionate chuckle, they work as a way of easily communicating anything from respect to scorn to awkward embarrassment. This doesn’t mean that such a laugh is fake — or even that we do it consciously — they’re just not the same as the laughter that erupts in response to something we find genuinely hilarious.

Most importantly, this kind of laughter can be changed. According to a study by Jo-Anne Bachorowski in Psychological Science, the more “voice” you put into your laugh — i.e., the more it sounds like a classic, songlike “hahaha” — the more positively the laugh is viewed. So if your, “Nice one, boss!” laugh sounds less like a manly guffaw and more like a pig uncovering a truffle, you can try consciously making it sound closer to a more traditional laugh.

It helps, too, to make a mental note of when you’re laughing — whether it’s to soften the awkwardness of a dumb thing you said, or simply just to fill a gap in conversation — and with practice and consistency, there’s a chance your brain will rewire itself to do this kind of laugh automatically.

But Here’s Why You Should Leave Your Laugh Alone

Much in the same way that people have trouble changing their accents when learning foreign languages, Lavan warns that an altered laugh might still come across as forced.

Upon hearing it — regardless of how pleasantly musical it might be — the other brain in the conversation will immediately be skeptical. On the flip side, Lavan explains that no matter how bad your big old goofy belly laugh is, anyone who hears it will at least register it as a genuine, emotional laugh.

In short, our brains naturally favor authentic laughter, even if it’s a squealing cackle that makes you sound like a prepubescent supervillain. “So maybe,” Lavan concludes, “You should just stick with whatever laugh you’ve got.”


You Finally Have an Excuse for Acting Like a Baby When You’re Sick

by Tracy Moore

New research has found that viruses might actually hit men harder

Grab a box of tissues: Researchers may have cracked the code behind why men must take to bed as if hit by the Ebola virus when they only have a minor case of the sniffles: Their immune cells are weaker, Time reports.

The study, published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that male mice who were exposed to bacteria causing a flu-like illness not only seemed sicker, but also took longer to get over it, plus, they had more fluctuation in body temperature, inflammation and fever.

Studies on mice may not accurately predict human responses, but even so, the world didn’t need a study to know what it has observed with its own eyes — that men are rendered helpless and in need of round-the-clock intensive care when beset with the common cold, while women soldier on diligently. But even the researchers didn’t expect these results.

“We were really surprised, and at first, we were like, ‘Is this real?’” Nafissa Ismail, the director of the University of Ottawa lab that conducted the study,told Canada’s Metro News. So they did the experiment again, and got the same results. Based on previous research that found that testosterone suppresses the immune system (and estrogen boosts it), Ismail said they figured the results were related to sex hormones. But even after removing the gonads on the male mice, they still had worse symptoms.

This doesn’t mean testosterone isn’t still a factor here — Ismail said the effects of testosterone could already be locked in before a mouse, or man, hits puberty. Sabra Klein, associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, offered another theory to Time — a “live fast, die young” theory that suggests, confusingly, that men’s greater risk-taking and greater penchant for adventure exposes them to more disease, but somehow makes them less able to fight it off. The idea here is that immunity-wise, men only need to be worried about being well enough to reproduce, whereas women, eternal caretakers of children, would be more invested in a quick recovery that allowed them to get right back on those dishes ASAP.

All this runs counter to the beloved notion as men as robust in the face of all challenges — not a good look. If there is one evolutionary mandate to prove wrong for no other reason than sheer vanity, we suggest this one.


It’s Not Who Falls in Love First, But Who Says It First, That Matters

Tracy Moore

Love is a power move

Hot tip: Women don’t typically say “I love you” first in a heterosexual relationship because we know men think we are going to say it first, so we wait and make you say it first because that way it will be more “real.”

Lemme put it another way: Many women play an “I love you” game of chicken, because we have to, or else risk confirming every stereotype alive that we are blinking neon signs of emotional neediness. Yes, there are exceptions, and many people are mature, evolved beings who have no need for such silly games, but we can’t all be brave soldiers in the game of love.

Some context: In an age of Hey, men have feelings, too!, research has resurfaced on the internet that when it comes to those three little words, it turns out that men not only fall in love faster than women, but say it sooner, too. No shit! While the research was celebrated as heartening — proof that men not only have real feelings, but can actually string sentences together on their own to express them without a hard prompt — the ensuing aha! misses the point: Saying “I love you” is, and always will be, one of the earliest, most important power moves in a relationship, and we’ve typically given all this power to dudes, painting women as militants in the game of locking down love. The result? Women feel pressure to hold back.

The research showed up at Broadly, where Jessica Pan explored a 2011 studyof 172 college students at Pennsylvania State University, published in the Journal of Social Psychology. Researchers Marissa Harrison and Jennifer Shortall found that men reported both falling in love earlier and saying “I love you” earlier than women did. This contradicted the authors’ expectation that women would fall in love first and express it first. And popular culture, of course, has long painted women as the more eager gender when it comes to falling in love and committing.

“Surprise!” Redbook wrote of the Broadly piece, remarking that the research “totally debunks the myth that women are the ones who *~fall so fast~* and spend all their time quoting songs about unrequited love.”

Women, of course, know this, but such gendered stereotypes — women be chasin’, men be avoidin’ — hang over all our heads as we move toward the big moment. Harrison’s research was published in 2011; that same year, another study was published on Valentine’s Day in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. It looked at six studies of male and female behavior in commitment in terms of who says “I love you” first. It, too, found that “although people think that women are the first to confess love and feel happier when they receive such confessions, it is actually men who confess love first and feel happier when receiving confessions.”

So why do we think of women as the ambulance chasers of love, when research has shown again and again that we aren’t? Because we think of falling in love and saying “I love you” as the same thing as wanting a commitment, and women, as we all know, all want commitment.

Take this old bit from Chris Rock, who says women are perennially ready to settle down. “Shit,” he jokes, “a woman go on four good dates, she’s like, ‘Why we bullshitting? What are you waiting for?’ Men, never ready to settle down. Men don’t settle down. We surrender.”…