New $300 Male Vibrator For Erectile Dysfunction

Better than the little blue pill?

It has been a good season for men’s sexual health.

Last week, The New York TImes reported on some cool (and long-awaited) scientific advances on male contraceptives. Researchers, for instance, are working on ways to greatly lower a man’s sperm count temporarily, which seems a much better option than the no-way-out path of a vasectomy. Others are developing drugs to disable a critical part of the sperm tail that helps it reach an egg.

Now comes news of the Viberect, a hand-held vibrator for men, which has been cleared by the FDA to treat Erectile Dysfunction and for post-cancer rehabilitation. The promise of a good erection won’t come cheap, however: the prescription-only device will run about $300, and should be ready to ship in a few weeks, according to its manufacturer.

It’s hard to believe that an instrument shaped like a set of salad tongs can beat one of the conditions most feared by men in the AARP crowd.

But Dr. Kambiz Tajkarimi, the urologist who developed the device and now runs the company that sells it, Reflexonic, LLC, of Chambersburg, PA, says he’s been receiving “thousands of emails” from doctors and patients anticipating the Viberect’s release. “We have received an unprecedented interest from around the world,” he said.

Medications for erectile problems have side effects, Tajkarimi says; the new device takes a more “natural approach.” By activating the nerve receptors or antennae on the surface of the penis, he says the Viberect “provokes and amplifies natural human reflexes and other pathways of penile erection, rigidity, orgasm, and other sexual responses.”  These responses are robust in young men, but can be “significantly weakened due to age, medical conditions, or many prostate cancer treatments.”

“When a guy a guy is young, 15-20 years old, he can look at an old woman and get an erection,” Tajkarimi says. “But older men need extra stimulation.”

Still, why does the world need a new $300 vibrator when others are on the market? Tajkarimi says your typical massaging devices or vacuum pump doesn’t work on both the top and bottom of the penis, which is apparently key. “They do not activate the reflexes as well — this device (again, think salad tongs or hair crimper with pads that wrap around the penis) works on both sides at the same time in order to activate the spinal cord reflexes and sexual centers in the brain to provoke an erection.” Women, he notes, have been using vibrators for sexual stimulation since the turn of the century. So why not men?

Sharon Bober, a clinical psychologist and director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Sexual Health Program (we’ve written about Sharon and her patients here) says: “This device is a welcome option for treating ED. It is terrific to have another strategy for men who want to avoid the cost and potential side effects of other pharmaceutical options.”

Tajkarimi also claims that orgasms are amplified using the device. As evidence, he says, in clinical trials, the subjects wouldn’t return their Viberects. However, the Viberect is “not a masturbation device,” he says.   It’s only approved for post-cancer treatment or before sexual activity. (Off-label use anyone?)

Another benefit, Tajkarimi says, is that the device can be used in complete darkness, and indeed the right context is critical for effectiveness: “The entire process has to be done in a sexual setting or as foreplay, it can’t be in front of the TV with chips.”

If you want more details, watch the company’s video here.

 

 

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