For men who have not been helped by popular erectile dysfunction chemicals, or who feel uncomfortable with the reported side-effects, there are not many options. Traditionally, they have been forced to consider a life with impotence, painful vacuum pumps or risky invasive surgery. That is changing, however, as a new prescription vibrator enters the market.
The vibrator is currently being released in the United States under the name Viberect and was developed by the American company Reflexonic, owned and run by urologists. The premise is simple: the vibrator stimulates the nerve endings of the penis and triggers a reflex erection. In this respect the vibrator is no different from any other forum of sexual contact. What makes Viberect more effective than vacuum pumps and manual stimulation, and what negates the use of a cheaper vibrator, however, is the intensity of the vibrations and the dual stimulators.
Viberect is designed rather like a pair of barbecue tongs and each end has a soft vibrating cup. With the help of those cups, the Viberect device can stimulate both sides of the penis equally and thereby maximize the number of affected nerves. This is crucial as nerve damage, caused for example by diabetes or stroke, often plays a huge part in erectile dysfunction. After 7-10 minutes of stimulation, Viberect “provokes and amplifies natural human reflexes and other pathways of penile erection, rigidity, orgasm, and other sexual responses,” says Dr. Kambiz Tajakarimi, urologist and one of the developers of Viberect.
The device will cost about $300 in the US market, which is approximately $500 cheaper than the world’s only other medical vibrator, the Ferticare. The price in Europe is yet to be determined, but sales start later this year.
More pressing than the issue of cost, however, is the issue of stigma. Viberect works by producing individual erections at the moment of use and can as such not be hidden from a partner, unlike long-term erectile dysfunction therapy or an orodispersible pill. There is also no way around it; the Viberect looks distinctly medical, more like something found in a hospital than in a private bedroom.
Reflexonic is hoping to circumvent this problem by making the device incredibly easy to use, even in a dimmed bedroom setting with a partner. There are no buttons to press. Simply grab the device and it will start on its own. It could easily integrate into a couple’s sex life. Yet, Reflexonic stresses that Viberect is not a sex toy and will never be sold as such. It is an erectile dysfunction aid that just happens to be a pleasure to use.