It is an all too familiar scenario for a man in his 30s, who has just started having sex with a partner and wants a “real” massager.
He has been given a “foot massage” by a friend of his.
But this “massage” is nothing but a rubber “cushion” stuffed with silicone that, once inserted, is supposed to stimulate the genitalia.
In a world where women and men often find themselves in sexual encounters without a penis, these “foot massage” toys are potentially harmful, says the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
Dr Joanna Smith, a GP who specialises in sexual health and safety at the Royal Colleges of Gynaemology and Obstetrics in Edinburgh, UK, says it is extremely important that people understand what they are buying.
“It’s not an object to be used for penetration or to stimulate genitalia, but it’s really a tool that can be used to make a woman feel good,” she told Al Jazeera.
Dr Smith advises women and couples to ask the doctor or pharmacist for the product before making an order, and to also check with their partner before they go ahead.””
So if you are a male or female, don’t buy a massaging toy that is intended to be for sexual activity, because that is very different to the behaviour that is being used.”
Dr Smith advises women and couples to ask the doctor or pharmacist for the product before making an order, and to also check with their partner before they go ahead.
“There is a very high chance that a product may have been contaminated with chemicals, so I would recommend that you contact your doctor, who can make sure that there is nothing wrong with the product,” she said.
In addition to the possibility of an infection, many people find that their partners are uncomfortable using a massaged part of the body, as it can feel like their genitals are being “baked” or rubbed.
“The pressure on the penis can feel very uncomfortable,” said Dr Smith.
“It can also feel uncomfortable for women to be massaged by their partners, and for women, it can make them feel uncomfortable.”
If it is a real massage, you are actually massaging a very sensitive area.
“If you think a massage product might be unsafe, contact your GP or a licensed sex therapist for advice.
If you are unsure whether you need help, ask your doctor or a sex therapist to refer you to a qualified sex therapist.
Dr Smith says that some people may be concerned that having a massagers-sized toy inside their vagina would make them unable to have an orgasm, but that is not necessarily the case.”
This is not a case of women not wanting to have sex, but if a woman is experiencing pain or discomfort, and the pain or distress that has been caused, then that is a case where they need to seek help,” she added.
The Royal College recommends that all sexual activity should be “safe and enjoyable” and “appropriate for the individual”.
The RCOG has also published guidelines for men to use “massages” in their relationships.
They include the following: