Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) seems to be all the rage in the media…even Oprah is discussing it. Next thing you know, Dr. Phil will be dumping his diet book to author one on FSD. Why all of the attention now? It’s not like this is a new concept. However, a little thing called Viagra seems to have made all the difference. Since the 1998 approval of Viagra, pharmaceutical and medical device companies have realized there is a buck to be made…and you just know how we women love to spend money, right? As a Sexologist and woman I decided to give the newest line of sex products designed to combat female sexual problems a spin. So, I’ll be giving you the low down on which products work and which don’t within the next couple of months. We’ll start with the latest trend…clit pumps!
Clit pumps contain a small suction device, that when placed over the clit is supposed to increase blood flow to that area. It works similar to the penis pumps you may have seen to increase blood flow to the penis to get and maintain an erection. When blood flow to the clitoris is increased, in theory you should experience increased arousal and in effect a tiny clit hard-on.
There is only one FDA approved clit pump currently available on the market, The Eros made by Urometric. The Eros was approved in 2001 and received quite a bit of press as it was (and is) the only approved device on the market to address female sexual function issues. However, other non-prescription versions have become available. In fact, the word is that the clit pump women have enjoyed using the most, isn’t a clit pump at all…it’s a facial pore cleanser! One pump is the EH 2500s, Made by Panasonic. Apparently women have been interested in these “pumps” for quite awhile, with underground e-groups on Yahoo and the like. So, I decided to look up Dr. Charlie Moser (an MD who is a renowned expert in sexual medicine and author of Health Care With Out Shame).
Dr. Moser has worked with several patients and their decision to use a clit pump. “It often won’t solve their issues around inhibited arousal but clit pumps may offer another alternative to enhance sex.” Dr. Moser says that it’s akin to using any sex toy, which can also be considered as sex enhancers. “It’s just another sensation women can now experiment with. Unfortunately, the deterrent is the price. The Eros retails for $400. Some insurances may pay for a portion of it but more often than not, they don’t.” He says that’s why the Pore Cleansers have been so popular. Because the Eros is FDA approved Dr. Moser can make those available to his patients. However, he does let his patients know that women are also using the Pore Cleanser. “I’ll often let them try both models and see what they like the best. Many of them tell me they actually prefer the Pore Cleansers.”
Following our interview Dr. Moser allowed me to test both pumps in the privacy of his exam room — while he waited in his office. After being given the run down of how to operate both the FDA approved Eros Clit Pump and the Panasonic EH 257 Pore Cleaner (a related but now discontinued model), I nervously headed across the hall.
I had never experienced what suction applied to my clit might be like…it’s not like I ever had the fantasy of attaching my vacuum hose attachment to my clit in search of a new and exciting sexual experience. But I was curious for myself and for my clients. Now that I had gotten over the concept that clit pumps may not only be the new wave in treating women with inhibited arousal I realized they could potentially be used like any vibrator or dildo…as a sex toy meant for pleasure.
I did realize the bias I brought into the testing as well as realized that since I don’t have an exam room fetish that I may not be able to actually enjoy the experience as fully as I would at home in my own comfortable environment — although gynecological stirrups have always intrigued me, hmmm.
I almost didn’t know here to begin. Do I sit? Do I stand? What if I did get aroused – how would I quiet myself? God forbid I embarrass myself. In no particular order I chose to begin with the Eros. I could see from just looking at it why the FDA approved this model. It looks like a medical device, cold and clinical. The suction applicator by it self runs $6 to replace per use. The suction controls were fairly easy to use but I felt like I had to coordinate the two pieces a bit (the suction and the control unit) separately.
I started slow as I was actually a little nervous about the whole suction thing. My clit slowly began to get sucked into the plastic applicator. It even amplified my clit, making it appear huge. I guess I’ve always had a bit of a small clit complex. After a few minutes I began to get used to the varying levels of suction and found that even on the highest level it wasn’t so bad. The sensation is just like you might expect, the nice thing is the ability to control the level of suction. So you can work your way up.
I then moved on to the Pore Cleanser. This pump was attractive – one unit, hand held and lavender. The controls and suction were all on the one device. That alone made it easier to handle than the Eros. Although louder, the nice thing about it was that it vibrated! Now I can’t imagine that having a pore cleanser vibrate would be important in sucking out blackheads so that leaves me a bit confused. But the fact that it did vibrate against my clit made a difference. I felt more aroused with this device versus the other. However, the level of suction begins and goes quite a bit higher than the Eros as well. Which means I had to pay more attention to the levels I was using as it could get out of hand much easier and suck my clit more than what I found pleasurable. In fact, I in effect gave myself a hickey right under my clit on my inner labia — ouch!
Afterward, Dr. Moser allowed me to keep the Eros applicator with out paying him the $6 it would cost him to replace it. I now have my own little memento from the occasion –one that’ll last longer than my labia hickey.
I ended up not having an orgasm although I found the entire experience truly interesting. I have to admit that I might try a clit pump again (definitely the $80 model versus the $400). I think the orgasm thing might just have been related to mind set though; I might have actually gotten off had I been in the comfort of my own home. Many sex toy manufacturers are getting the hint and jumping on the clit suction bandwagon as well. Although, the companies will have some competition to deal with as the Panasonic Pore Cleanser has quite the following. But it can be hard to find. There are now a plethora of legit lower end clit pumps on the market. Check out Adam and Eve for these options. All in all, it appears women do have a whole new option in our quest for sexual enhancement.