I’d thought about writing a fuller review of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. (Available in paperback and Kindle.) I might still do that at some point. But really, my thoughts on the book pretty much boil down to this: If you have a prostate, or if you’re having sex with someone who has a prostate, or if you ever plan to have sex with someone who has a prostate, you want to read this book. Period.
Of course, the author can tell you a lot more about it than that. Charlie Glickman, Ph.D., co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure, has very kindly given me some time to discuss the book, and some of the ideas and information in it.
GC: If there was one thing you could say to people who are reluctant to explore prostate play, what would it be?
CG: There are some pretty common concerns that men and their partners have around trying prostate play. When we wrote the book, Aislinn and I conducted two surveys and we asked people to tell us what held them back. Almost all of the answers fell into three categories: will it hurt? will it be messy? what does this mean for my masculinity?
Those first two are technical questions, in the sense that they focus on the technical skills that make anal play enjoyable. As a sex educator and coach, I hear those same questions from people of any gender who are thinking about receiving anal play, and there are lots of ways to make it easy, fun, and hygienic. Since getting fucked is usually seen as “the woman’s role” in sex, a lot of men worry that anal penetration and prostate pleasure will somehow make them less masculine.
This is such a prevalent issue that we devoted an entire chapter of the book to unpacking it and offering alternative perspectives. But the short version is that what kinds of things feel good to you is about where your nerves are, while the gender(s) of the people you want to have sex with is about your sexual orientation. Those are two different things, in the same way that what foods you like and who you want to have dinner with are two different things.
I think it’s really unfortunate that so many men are stuck on this because there are some incredible opportunities for pleasure that they miss out on. And it’s not like prostate play means you can’t also have lots of fun with other kinds of sex. This is about adding to, not taking away.
If there was one more thing?
When I talk with men about their experiences with prostate play, whether massage, pegging, or anything else, they describe it in much the same way that a lot of women describe G-spot play. The sensation of prostate massage is often compared to “the beginning of an orgasm,” but instead of lasting just a few seconds as you reach the “point of no return” (or in sex therapy language, “ejaculatory inevitability”), it can last for as long as you want. The orgasms that come from prostate massage are felt as bigger, more expansive, coursing through your body, and with practice, you might even be able to have multiple orgasms. If you’ve ever heard someone talk about their G-spot experiences, some of this might sound similar.
I think this is important because a lot of guys have had first-hand experience on the giving side of G-spot pleasure (no pun intended), and can’t even imagine being able to have something like that for themselves. But actually, you can and we give you all the info you need to try it for yourself.
And one more?
There’s a difference between anal stimulation and prostate stimulation. Yes, the most effective way to reach the prostate is through anal penetration, though it’s not the only way, but a lot of guys prefer to focus on just the prostate with minimal anal stimulation. Others like to mix them together, and a few told us that they enjoy anal play, but that prostate stimulation didn’t do much for them.
This is important because some men resist exploring prostate pleasure as a result of experiences of not enjoying anal play. But as long as the anal penetration is painless, you can have a great time. If you decide that you like it too, then you have more fun options. Prostate play isn’t about size. You can rock someone’s world with something as slim as a finger. So don’t let your worries about anal sex keep you from trying something new.
Along those lines, a medical prostate exam isn’t meant to feel good. They don’t want it to hurt, but they also don’t want you to get turned on and think that the doctor is trying to have sex with you. I’ve had a lot of men tell me, “I got checked out at the doctor’s office and I didn’t like it, so I guess this isn’t for me.” It’s funny- I’ve never heard a woman say, “Getting a pelvic exam isn’t fun, so I guess I don’t like intercourse.” Trust me. Doing this at home is completely different.
What has the response been to the book so far?
Really amazing. I’ve received emails from men with all levels of experience, from total novices to experienced prostate players, and they’ve all said that they learned something useful. One of the advantages of surveying almost 200 people about this is that we could offer more tips and ideas to make things fun. Our goal was to make it relevant for everyone with a prostate and for their partners, and from the feedback we’ve gotten so far, we hit our target. Aislinn and I are both really proud of that.
I’m also really happy that men of all sexual orientations have told us that we spoke to their experiences and made our book relevant to them. Most sex guides are written for specific communities or with only some sexual orientations in mind. The fact that we have been getting such positive responses from men of all orientations makes me really proud.
How does this book differ from other guides to male anal pleasure, such as The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Men?
While there are some guides to male anal pleasure, they focus much more on the anal play. There’s some mention of the prostate, but that’s not the main point. We give you lots of info about anal play, but most of our attention is on the prostate. Think of it as sort of like the difference between a book on sex positions and a book on the G-spot. There’ll be some overlap, but a lot that’s different.
Our website has a lot of great info to get you started. We wrote it to make sure that you’d get enough of the basics to give it a try, even if you never pick up a copy of the book. Of course, the book (available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle) has a whole lot more. So if you’re ready to try something new and rock your world, you know where to go. And if you have feedback, questions, or you just want to get in touch, I’m easy to find at my website, Facebook, and Twitter.
Charlie Glickman Ph.D. is a sexuality educator, writer, blogger, workshop teacher, and sex & relationship coach. He is certified as a sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists and was a pioneering Program Educator for Good Vibrations for sixteen years. He lives in Oakland, CA.