Macho toys: the ads

(Plain talk about sex toys for men and about male genitalia, so not for kids or the sexually modest. )

A Daily Jocks mailing back on 2/9 offers a novel solution to creating visually interesting ads for sex toys for men (primarily aimed at gay men) — devices designed to improve sexual performance or to provide solitary sexual pleasure (genital or anal), and in themselves not offering much to look at. The ads are playful, purely symbolic, takes on male genitalia.

The 2/9 mailing (“MACHO TOYS IS HERE”) has three images, the first two playful, the third with an image of an electronic toy.

Image 1. With the text:


Macho Toys by DailyJocks stocks range of high quality realistic dildos moulded from real guys & a collection of premium electric toys including prostate massagers, vibrating cock rings & anal stimulators.

and the goofy image:

(#1) Yes, a balloon cock and balls, a balloon animal for gay men

Image 2. With the text:


High quality realistic dildos moulded from real guys

and another goofy image:

(#2) Phallic vegetables and fruits: eggplant, banana, pickle, carrot

I note here that it’s important that the arms that appear in all three of the 2/9 images are clearly male arms: the advertising is men for men.

Image 3. With the text:


Premium electric toys including prostate massagers, vibrating cock rings & anal stimulators.

and an image of the Neptune Prostate Massager:

(#3) Not just a prostate massager, but a perineum massager as well, plus it’s electronic: it vibrates, under control of the device shown in this image

The full description of the massager:

Neptune Prostate Massager. Sale price $75.00.

Featuring du[a]l zone stimulation [massages both the prostate and the perineum] & a double beaded shaft[,] the Neptune Prostate Massager will pleasure you inside & out.

Featuring 10 intensities of vibration [to] massage you exactly how you like it.

My interests in these ads. I have two interests in these ads — as clever (eye-catching and entertaining) deployments of phallicity in ad design; and as thought-provoking material in my attempts to work out users’ implicit categorization of the domain of sex toys for men, specifically gay men (as another domain for my continued interest in categorization and labeling).

Digression. “Specifically gay men” because in my experience most straight guys are, or at least were, unaware of large parts of this world. I say this because there was a time when I found myself explaining cock rings to straight male friends. Common first question: do they actually work? (Oh yes.) Another common one: do they hurt? (Not if you’ve chosen a model that suits you. I described my favorite.)

For reference, from OED3 (Sept. 2019):

noun cock ring: … (b) a ring or band, typically made of metal, plastic, or leather, worn round the base of the penis (and scrotum) to help strengthen and sustain an erection. [1st cite 1970]

Note that this is the OED, but a very recent edition. Pretty much everybody seems to know about cock rings these days. And the devices even come in deliberately eye-catching and entertaining designs, like this one from my 6/10/18 posting “Rainbow moments”:

(#4) The Pride Cock Ring: fly the Pride flag at the base of your engorged penis!

Back to categorization. A previous, rather rambling, look at the male sextoy domain: my 3/1/20 posting “Guy gear”:

The domain of sex toys. From my 2/18/13 posting “Commercial categories: gay sex toys”, about the (quite extensive) section of the TLA Video on-line catalogue devoted to gay (male) sex toys:

There turns out to be a pretty rich category structure here, involving a number of categories that (not surprisingly) have no ordinary-language labels. A category structure devised for the users of these items, by their designers, manufacturers, and sellers.

We see much the same thing on the Guy Gear Store site, though the category structure there isn’t as complex as on the TLA Video site. They initially list five categories:

anal toys, cock & ball, lubes, fantasy & fetish (nipple clamps, wrist cuffs, collars, ball gags, crops, and more), undergear (most of it highly pouch-focused)

and then add four more:

masturbators, dildos, accessories (the Toy Cleaner product, for instance), penis enhancement

As at TLA Video, the categories include a number that are familiar to the users / customers, though not necessarily under the labels Guy Gear uses: ANAL-TOYS and UNDERWEAR (labeled undergear), for example. Others are categories of commerce, with names created by the makers and sellers: masturbators and penis enhancement, for instance.

I’m now prepared to make a preliminary proposal for a category structure that  catches the distinctions that I think are significant to gay men. As usual, the names of the categories (in upper case) are merely suggestive and (I hope) memorable names; they are labels, not definitions (or descriptions).

— at the top level, a distinction between VANILLA-SEXTOYS and BDSM-SEXTOYS

— within VANILLA-SEXTOYS, a distinction between two different functions of the sex toys: SOLO-PLEASURERS (devices providing solitary sexual pleasure) versus PERFORMANCE-ENHANCERS — the former including massagers (for the prostate and the perineum) , dildos (for anal pleasure), masturbation sleeves; the latter including cock rings, penis pumps and stretchers, and erection drugs, supplements, and lotions

— within BDSM-SEXTOYS, the categories are still unclear to me, though a  rough first cut might divide devices that provide pleasure through restraint from those that provide pleasure through pain. There’s a Wikipedia page giving a list of diverse BDSM equipment (cock and balls torture devices, cock cages, nipple clamps, wrist cuffs, collars, ballgags, etc.), thereby illustrating the complexities of categorization.

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