This article contains sexually explicit material.
Is it possible to masturbate your way to better sex? A new sex toy for men called the blewit! promises to help men who have performance anxiety or other issues in the bedroom get better at sex by addressing the problem, um, hands-on.
The key to better sex life for men is mindfulness, blewit! CEO, CT Schenk, told the Daily Dot in a phone interview. A lot of men are very goal-oriented when they masturbate, he continued. “They go in, they get it done, and they leave—two, three minutes at most,” he said. “There’s no mindfulness to it. When you talk about mindful masturbation, most men don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Mindful masturbation is the practice of focusing on all the sensations and feelings of arousal while masturbating. Instead of orgasm being the main goal, sometimes the goal is to last longer, or practice maintaining an erection. Sex therapist Vanessa Marin told the Daily Dot that mindful masturbation helps a lot of men get over issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and performance anxiety in the bedroom.
These issues crop up for men, Marin continued, because as boys they may have focused on reaching orgasm as quickly as possible while masturbating to avoid getting caught by their parents. This habit follows them into adulthood—much to some of their partners’ chagrin.
“That gets to be a pattern that is repeated and repeated,” Marin explained. “A lot of men don’t really put a lot of thought into their masturbation habits.” But as they get older and begin having sex with a partner, “they’re starting to realize that they’re not lasting as long as they want to last,” she said. For those men, mindful masturbation may help.
Usually mindful masturbation involves nothing more than using your hand. The blewit!, however, is designed to be as close to a simulation of intercourse as possible, Schenk said. He believes that similarity between the blewit! and the real deal will help men who want to improve their performance.
“What we’re focusing on here is that masturbation is kind of like a dress rehearsal for sex,” he said, continuing that the closer the “dress rehearsal” is to the actual performance, the better. Many men who masturbate with their hands do so by using the so-called “death grip,” he continued, meaning that they grip their penis with a strength that can’t be replicated through sex with a partner. The difference in stimulation can make it difficult for some men to achieve orgasm with a partner.
For men who want to use the blewit! for performance training, they can use it in conjunction with blewit!’s “controlit!” program. It’s essentially a guide to help men focus on the state of their arousal while using the device, so they can learn mindfulness in the context of sex as well.
As a sex therapist, Marin believes men “don’t need a toy” to become more mindful about sex—but it couldn’t hurt. “I think having a product can mimic more of the sensation of intercourse,” which can be helpful, she said. She added that she sometimes recommends male masturbators similar to the blewit! to her clients, adding she’s optimistic it can live up to its claims.
“A lot of men don’t really put a lot of thought into their masturbation habits.”
The blewit! has an emphasis on function, not fantasy, according to Schenk. Many male masturbation tools, such as the Fleshlight, are molded after the mouths, vaginas, and anuses of porn stars—something that the partner of the man buying the product may feel uncomfortable about. But the blewit! takes a different, non-anatomical approach. Schenk said, “It doesn’t have to be guys finding it themselves and hiding it; it can be something more open because it has that lack of fantasy.”
He hopes the blewit! can help remove the stigma of masturbation and self-pleasure in the context of relationships—seeing as many in relationships are often uncomfortable with the idea that their partner may still be masturbating. But there’s nothing wrong with masturbating while in a relationship, Marin said.
“I think the vast majority of people would agree that being with a partner is an overall more fun and pleasurable experience, but your hand and vibrator is a much less complicated one,” he said.
Change it up
Just as some worry that vibrating sex toys may desensitize a woman’s vagina or clitoris, some may worry that the blewit! and its predecessors may desensitize the penis. But neither Schenk nor Marin thought that would be the case.
“There’s a lot of fear-mongering [about desensitization], especially with vibrators, and it comes from a sex-negative place,” Marin said. She doesn’t think women can become addicted to vibrators, nor does she predict men will become addicted to the blewit! Instead, she advocated that people practicing self-love should strive for variety in their solo sessions just like couples should look for variety in their sex lives—a sentiment Schenk voiced, too. “Are you going to become dependent on [the blewit!]? I think that’s to each their own,” he said. “I don’t think you should use the product all the time. I think it can be used as a practice tool.”
There’s certainly a lot of interest: Within a week of starting their Indiegogo campaign, the blewit! reached 120 percent of its $20,000 goal. As of press time, the campaign is over 150 percent of its fundraising goal.
Schenk credits a changing culture of sexual openness cultivated by the Internet. He said that when he first entered the sex toy and sexual health industry 10 years ago, talking about masturbation and male masturbators was taboo. Now, things have changed.
“The evolution of these stigmas has really evolved because of the Internet. Young men are much more open to talking about their problems on the Internet,” he said. He felt the anonymity and wealth of information and ideas provided by the Web helps men—particularly young men—be more forthcoming with their problems in a supportive, yet private, environment.
Despite all the buzz, the blewit! still needs to prove it can live up to its claims to it helps men perform better in the bedroom. To that end, Schenk developed the controlit! program based on a few studies about mindful masturbation, as well as ideas he has picked up from sex therapists along the way. However, currently his proof that the blewit! and accompanying controlit! program work are, for now, purely anecdotal.
“I’ve had a small group of people friends and family that I’ve been coaching, but we don’t have any drawn out organized studies,” Schenk said. “That’s the next plan.” One of his first priorities following the Indiegogo campaign is to get some focus groups together and carry out some studies with the blewit! in a more controlled manner to see if the controlit! program works as well as he thinks it will, he told the Daily Dot.
Nevertheless, the blewit! still promises to be a male masturbator like none other—something Interactive Life Forms, the company behind the Fleshlight, disagrees with. According to XBiz.com, the company is pursuing charges of patent infringement against blewit!. Schenk told the Daily Dot that his company is currently in settlement talks with Interactive Life Forms, and that the blewit! currently has its own patent pending.
“I respect Fleshlight for their position in the industry as a market leader, but I stand behind my own message and my product being unique,” Schenk said. (Interactive Life Forms did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment regarding the lawsuit.)
Schenk didn’t seem fazed by the lawsuit. In his opinion, the blewit! will build upon the groundwork that the Fleshlight laid down, taking advantage of a new culture of openness to help more men enhance their performance in the bedroom. If it works, we all stand to benefit.
Photo via seeminglee/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)