Holding my erect penis in my hand while lustily staring into a computer screen to ward off silent emptiness and existential depression used to be the way I overreacted to the idea that I was an unattractive single nerd in the 10th grade. However, six weeks into the onset of COVID-19’s quarantine, it was instead my only recourse for attempting pleasure.

For lack of a better phrase, the impotence of my amygdala — the part of the brain that controls sex — was frightening.

Nearly a year has elapsed since then. However, reconnecting with a time when I was confident that having sex equaled the potential of contracting viral death is essential. The idea that I was an older adult whose mind flinched at sex as an unsafe act filled with unknown concerns was troubling enough. However, the idea that my matured emotions occupied a similar sensorial space to how my young mind thrilled at sex as a tantalizing pleasure was significant. For lack of a better phrase, the impotence of my amygdala — the part of the brain that controls sex — was frightening.

In early April of last year, to discover a potential solution to this challenging issue — as I have for the past two decades — I turned to my dog-eared copy of famed psychologist Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld’s The New Male Sexuality. Published in 1992, it’s an update on his groundbreaking 1978 work Male Sexuality, which successfully demystified three notions: ”a man always wants and is always ready to have sex,” ”sex equals intercourse,” and ”good sex requires orgasm.’

Moreover, the tome notes that “good sex is defined as feeling good about yourself, good about your partner, and good about what you’re doing.” It also highlights that a life inundated by pornography and other hyper-sexualized external stimuli fosters the negative development of a “fantasy model of sex.” This hyper-realized model eschews the previously mentioned modes of psycho-emotional connectivity. Instead, it dictates that men function and enjoy sexuality without considering their actual needs for relating and sharing.

However, my mind boggled as I read, then re-read passages of the book. What if we’d reached a point as people facing years of quarantine that invalidated forty years of Bernie Zilbergeld’s invalidation of sex that was emotionally distant and autonomous-feeling? What if a global calamity had trumped science? What if cold, detached sex with my left hand was the best I was going to achieve for who knew exactly how long?

What about addressing the possibility of not sleeping with a partner for many years?

Sex without partners requires a level of acceptance that our imaginations must be active. However, what about sex, where dreams engage with fantastical physical stimuli? Can these allow people to accept the dire nature of their lives? What about addressing the possibility of not sleeping with a partner for many years? Or, what about not feeling grossly inadequate because you lack human connectivity?

As I scrolled through my social media timeline, it appeared other penis-possessors were thinking notions similar to what I was contemplating. These issues fit one of three categories:


  • “I’m overindulged by watching pornography but not quite ready to risk the stress of nasal swab testing to assume safety before sexual intercourse.” 
  • “I’m overwhelmed by the existential state of the world, and masturbation won’t temporarily create enough of an endorphin explosion to pull me through. 
  • “No hobby that I can take up that produces a natural euphoric feeling (I ran a marathon in 2020) will distract me from a lack of orgasmic interpersonal interactions.”

I solved my issues similar to these by thinking biologically and technologically about preserving my sanity while remaining erotically satisfied. In realizing that technology can reimagine the expectations of the “the fantasy model of sex,” “the new normal’s” lack of interpersonal sexual interaction is solved. My choices in this regard saved my mental health.

However, I realize that so many of my fellow penis possessors are still succumbing to the same mind-numbed self-impotence I caused myself via weeks and months of unrequited wanderlust. Thus, herein lies a series of solutions for overwhelming theorization with sexual technology.

Key to these ideas is the notion that sexual arousal requires a complex confluence of dynamic cultural settings and behavioral adaptations to cause multiple physical and sensory systems to interact with each other explosively. Embracing this interplay’s depth and scope is not often considered when thinking about what links sex to positive emotional well-being. However, everything suggested here — that I have tried — directly impacts the interplay between the body’s nervous system (complex coordination of actions and sensory information throughout the body), endocrine system (chemical messenger system of hormonal feedback loops), and the type of unrepentant joy that makes quarantine tolerable.

Dual-Action Massage Play

To the ends of disproving the idea that “fantastical” does not equal “good,” I introduce the benefits of prostate-perineal massage. While doing some self-exploration, note that nerve endings create arousal and muscular contraction. Therefore, similar to simultaneously stimulating a clitoris and G-spot, the same reaction is caused by stimulating the perineum and prostate.

The prostate is a small, muscular gland just beyond the edge of the anal cavity that produces ejaculate’s seminal fluid. It’s a muscle that’s surrounded by the muscles of the sphincter, too. Given that muscles act in concert, the power of multiple muscles flexing in arousal is profound. Couple this with touching the perineum — the fleshy area of skin near the prostate — and the tickling of nerve endings blended with the strength of muscle flexion can cause an incredible orgasm.

Now, introduce a sex toy like Svakom Vick’s Neo App-Controlled Prostate and Perineum Massager. Motorized dual-stimulation of the prostate and perineum at an ergonomically-comfortable angle? In 1992, that was “fantasy.” By now, it’s “reality”…and a cure for the COVID blues.

Pleasure sleeves have a long history as sexual pleasure devices.

A New Sensation 

Bernie Zilbergeld’s Male Sexuality presupposes many men find that “female sexuality is complex, mysterious and full of problems, while male sexuality is simple, straightforward, and problem-free.” As well, The New Male Sexuality’s chapter on the “fantasy model of sex” includes the sub-header “It’s Two-Feet Long, Hard As Steel, and Can Go All Night.” Clearly, for many men (and penis possessors in general), size, potency, and durability of their genitalia — as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of their sexual performance — are not to be questioned. However, that’s a conversation that, if the thinking is restructured, can have mind-blowing orgasmic consequences.

Pleasure sleeves have a long history as sexual pleasure devices. The stimulation of texturized suction against the penis’ seemingly infinite nerve endings is highly arousing. However, reimagine this as a device that involves heat, texture, vibration, and suction. Overwhelming one’s nerve endings merely heightens one’s existential sense of feeling alive and present in the world around them. The best solution for an overwhelmed nerve system is relaxation. This orgasm could provide a pronouncedly different sensation than your general, pre-COVID forays into vaginal and anal intercourse.

Pump One’s New Generation Masturbator recontextualizes the effectiveness of your existing standard of what constitutes “great sex.”

Lose Control

In The New Male Sexuality, Bernie Zilbergeld writes, “Anxiety can also heighten passion. Although anxiety can have serious negative consequences for sexual functioning, at least one kind of fear–the fear of being discovered–can make us more aroused.” This is related to “sex in a bedroom or bathroom of someone else’s home where a party is going on and [is] discovered.” One can only imagine what Dr. Zilbergeld would think about the idea of Bluetooth-enabled, teledildonic sex toys.

Auto-erotic manipulation or meeting one’s typical expectations of sex allows the body to accept that regular patterns of arousal are as crucial to sex as the act itself.

The anxiety related to meeting the standards expected by one’s fantasy expectation of their sexual performance unquestionably can cause sexual dysfunction. Especially amid a pandemic significantly limiting the amount and redefining the stakes of intercourse, one’s mindset about their abilities can be impacted. If a bold person willing to take the leap of faith outside of your mind that your body’s intelligence as a machine can overcome the will of your emotions, engaging in remote-controlled sex with a partner is ideal.

Auto-erotic manipulation or meeting one’s typical expectations of sex allows the body to accept that regular patterns of arousal are as crucial to sex as the act itself. Allowing a partner to use a remote — often by hundreds or thousands of miles — and Bluetooth-connected app to control a motorized device to create orgasm-inducing stimulation removes both patterns and types of arousal from your sexual expectation. If looking for a way to shock your nervous and endocrine systems into modes and methods of thinking that revitalize your erotic potential, check out We-Vibe’s Ditto Vibrating Anal Plug. Add self-stroking to “deep, powerful vibrations” that put “direct pressure and stimulation against the prostate (or indirectly against the g-spot),” and expect a mind-blowing display of emotional fireworks.

In Conclusion

The worlds in which Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld discussed male sexuality in 1978 and 1992 were ones wherein the lack of social acculturation towards male empathy required the psychologist’s works. However, in the era between 1992 and the present day, significant cultural advancements in gender, sexual and interpersonal awareness have occurred. These developments have not merely freed us from the simple binary definitions of gender and sex, which birthed Male Sexuality and The New Male Sexuality. Instead, they have also opened a door — that technology and science have rushed into — for innovations that have physically introduced empathetic intimacy into our lives. In short, fantasy is reality.

Our lives are currently much less filled with stereotypical day-to-day minutiae. Therefore, space exists for all of us to — when bored and victimized by our global condition and how it impacts our social and physical interactions — indulge in a wholly reimagined “fantasy model of sex.” Because of impressive technological innovations, we currently live in a world where reality is the new fantasy. Pleasure has finally evolved into a more fulfilling phenomenon that’s more profound in its realization than ever before.

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