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Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012

How Common Are Male Chastity Devices?

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Laura, how prevalent are male chastity devices among heterosexual partners? Tease and denial seems exciting, but are people really purchasing devices for long-term denial? What have you seen or heard?

Male chastity devices (which I describe more thoroughly in a previous column) restrict access to the male genitals, thus preventing masturbation, sexual intercourse and/or orgasm or causing pain if an erection is achieved. As your question implies, they can be used either short-term (such as during an individual sexual encounter) or long-term (for several days or more, while going about one's daily activities).

As with any sexual practice that could be considered unusual, it's difficult to find data about how many people use male chastity devices, either short-term or long-term. This isn't the kind of thing that's usually asked about on surveys. That said, this is a product category that we have gradually expanded over the past few years in response to customer demand, starting with one and eventually stocking seven different lockable devices. We average between three and four sales of lockable devices a month, which we consider significant for a small store in a relatively small market. Our most popular chastity devices are those in the CB-6000 series, which are designed for long-term wear. We've even had customers ask if we'd be willing to hold monthly meet-ups at the store for couples who are interested in long-term male chastity (which we are—we only lack a host! If you're interested in volunteering, contact us).

I contacted the manufacturers of the CB-6000 devices to see if they had any data that they could share. Although they don't release specific sales figures, they did say that they sell thousands of devices a year—and they are only one manufacturer of such products! They estimate that their customers are equally divided between people in the fetish or kink communities and couples who are looking to try something new.

Many people worry that they are the “only one” who is into a particular sexual activity that is considered outside the mainstream. If I achieve anything with my work, I hope that it's helping people realize that, in fact, they are not alone in their desires, and that there is a huge amount of variety in our sex lives that doesn't ever make it into the pop culture discourse about sex. For every person that is brave enough to come into the store and talk to us about things like male chastity, I assume that there are many, many more who share this interest.

Laura Anne Stuart owns the
Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee's East Side. She has a master's degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.
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