Last year at Kinkfest, sol and I attended an excellent workshop on urethral play. Ever since then we’ve been wanting to experiment with this form of play, especially with sounds. A recent visit to S(A)X provide the perfect implement: a “hand made Stainless Steel Urethral Sound, made in the Sax metal workshop, only the best medical toy you have used!”.
It looks like this:
Because I’d not written about urethral play and sounding on my blogs before I decided to turn the post into part of my BDSM For Beginners Series. You can find the post on my main blog here and on my BDSM For Beginners blog here.
Ms160 using S(A)X’s sound on sol
There is actually not a huge amount online about urethral play, and most of what you’ll find is from a male perspective. Wiki gives a vanilla view, which is not very helpful for kinksters. I think KennedyRay provides a good intro to the topic, in a BDSM context:
“Urethral play is play that involves inserting objects into the urethra, and sometimes the bladder. In some cases, these scenes can be associated with people into medical scenes (playing amateur urologist hour), or in the BDSM scene, is closely associated with control and dominance. For the submissive/bottom, the psychological idea of being violated in such a manner, the inability to control bladder functions (if catheters are inserted into the bladder) along with the physiological sensitivity of the urethral lining can be quite a trip…
“In urethral play, you generally have two kinds of instruments that you can use. A sound is one type of device that comes in a variety of widths and is inserted into the shaft. Most people who are heavily into the use of sounds usually try to dilate or stretch the urethra, although there are many who get into seeing how far they can go as well. Sounds are sort of like wands usually made out of surgical stainless steel”
“Cock-stuffing, or “sounding” as it is called in the S&M community, involves inserting smooth, long, and thin surgical steel rods called “sounds” (hence the name “sounding”) into a man’s urethra. The two most commonly used “sounds” are the Van Buren, which has a J-shaped curve on the end, and the Dittle, which is straight. Other objects … may do the trick, but metal sounds are recommended because they are easier to clean and have no chance of breaking when in use”
You’ll find a lot of posts online from men interested in this topic, who put all sorts of items down their cock. I must say, after doing the research for this post I am STUNNED by the things men put down their dicks. Alice was replying to a man who used a glass thermometer. Other guys write about using “nicely rounded, tapering plastic pens” , “a smooth toothbrush handle” or “a long length of fishing line folded in two (fold goes in first)” … oh and this bloke, AnythingGoes, who in his reply to KennedyRay’s Urethral Play post definitely lives up to his name:
“corn kernels, pencils, pens, brushes, tools, nails, screws, bolts ( ones so fat I had to literally screw them all the way in) wires, toothbrushes, paperclips, hollow wall anchors that I then enlarge once in by putting a screw into it, tubes, hangers, sticks, plant stalks. And a plethora of other items …
“it is very addicting. So much so that I have gone even kinkier. I have slid small fish out of fishtank into the head of my dick. I have even slid a fat earthworm almost all the way in. Made sure not to let him go. I have put moths and several different kinds of small bugs and beetles just inside also. The sensation of them moving in there is almost instant orgasm. I dream of trying a small snake at some point. Has anyone else ever done any of this?”
It’s important I quote another line of this truly mad bastard, as well: “I have been lucky and never had an infection“. He’s not fucking wrong, lol. As Alice notes, in response to the thermometer guy:
“Just because you “don’t do it often” doesn’t mean you needn’t do it safely each time. Leave the thermometers, with the risk of broken glass and mercury poisoning, behind and invest in a “steel” sound”.
“The question of what to insert up one’s own, or anyone else’s, urethra is of paramount importance and might be best answered, any medical instrument or device which: (1) was made with the express purpose of urethral insertion, (2) has been “terminally” sterilized by a sterilization process which kills viruses (more about this later but suffice it to say that “boiling doesn’t cut it”), and (3) slides in under its own weight or with minimal pressure. We’ll elaborate on these later and even give a few exceptions, but these are the basic qualifications of any urethral insertion procedure. Knitting needles, dowel rods, chopsticks, pencils, toothbrush handles, coat hangers, and rat-tail files are all equally unsuitable.”
“In the “good old days” before penicillin, gonorrhea was much more difficult to cure and many times left scar tissue behind, causing “strictures” which partially or completely closed off the urethra, making urination difficult if not impossible. Some benevolent medicos (Drs. VanBuren and Dittel, to name two), seeking methods to relieve this problem, designed instruments to be inserted into the urethra to locate the stricture and literally stretch it open to allow the passage of urine. Thus was born the urethral “sound” which takes it name from the Latin subordinate, to submerge to measure the depth of.
“This is the same “sound” as used in the term “sound the depths,” where the depth of a body of water is measured with a weighted line”.
You’ll find lots of different types of sounds listed for sale at various adult / kinky stores. S(A)X has an excellent range. They all look slightly different - some are straight, some are slightly curved, some are curved to follow the natural shape of the penis.
“There is a curve in the male plumbing system; the curve on the Van Buren sound is designed to accommodate that curve, allowing the sound to slip down the penis and into the bladder easily. The problem is that if the bottom gets hard during the process of insertion one has to wait until the erection subsides, as the curved sound cannot be inserted (or removed!) if the penis is hard.
“It is possible to negotiate the curve with the straight Dittle sound by changing the angle of the penis during insertion, but this requires a bit more skill and sensitivity on the part of the top. The diameter of sounds, catheters and some other medical instruments is expressed in the French system. One French unit (Fr) is .33 millimeters (.3 mm for ease of discussion). Thus, an instrument which is 20 Fr is 20 x .3 = 6 mm in diameter (0.24″).
“Most men can, without discomfort, take a much larger sound than you might imagine. That being said however, for first timers, or those who haven’t done it on a regular basis, starting out with the smaller sound diameters (i.e., 16 Fr or 18fr) and work up to the larger diameters as it feels comfortable to do so. The idea, of course, is to stretch the urethra just a bit”
ChaseUnion gets it right when they write that:
“The dynamics of urethral insertion are those of invasion and control of a very private and personal area and function”
“People do sounding (1) for the sexual stimulation, (2) to enlarge their urethra, which they find interesting or exciting, and some on here do it to an EXTREME extent, or (3) use it as a base for other stimulation, applying a vibrator to it, or electro-sex signals”.
“The word “intense” is frequently used, and when the demonstration guy was asked to describe it, that was about the only word he could come up with (it was his first time experiencing it). That, and that it felt good.”
So: be warned … it’s going to be an intense experience!
What about from the “other” side? From the point of view of the other person doing the sounding, if it’s not a solo scene? Well, I can tell you from experience that’s “intense” as well, lol, and other tops agree. Lady Hotchkiss found her first sounds experience:
“Intensely erotic and sensual, WOW! … a very focused, deliberate, slow, sensual experience for all 4 people involved. It was an extraordinary way to spend an afternoon”
Some people like to call sounding a form of CBT play, but I think it’s a completely different ball game. Jade puts it best on this Eden Cafe thread about urethral play:
“Urethral play, play that involves catheterization and/or the use of sounds, is not meant to be S/M play. It is not used to hurt someone. There are lots and lots of places and ways to hurt someone that is safe and acceptable. A person’s urethra is not one of them. While Ms. Cynthia noted the many ways that sounds and catheters could be used in a D/s scene, in order to cause the bottom emotional and/or mental distress (especially in the case of catheters, which are often used in humiliation scenes) she stressed several times that urethral play is, sensation play, not pain play. This is play that is meant to be pleasurable, and if it is hurting, you’re doing something wrong”.
You can read about our first sounding scene in my BDSM For Beginners post. I had been looking forward to talking to sol about what sounding feels like. I’d mentioned in my BDSM For Beginners post how lots of people give great quotes about WHY they do sounding but no one says HOW it feels. But interestingly I encountered the same verbal block with sol. It seems sounding is simply a very difficult sensation to describe. Sol ended up calling it “a unique sensation”.
“it feels very sensitive … it’s a very delicate sensation … it isn’t intensely pleasurable … more subtle … some people say about power exchange, to me it does require a kind of surrender and letting go to do it”
This reminded me of something Tom Gordon had mentioned:
“You will discover that the bottom experiences great pleasure when the sound is inserted to a certain depth. The top should gently manipulate the sound at that point; the sound is probably stimulating the prostate gland intensely, and in a way not possible through any other sexual technique.
“Most bottoms enjoy seeing the insertion, especially the sound vanishing into the penis by its own weight. Many bottoms have expressed amazement to me that such a large object could go so far in without pain. They feel a sense of complete submission of their most intimate orifice and a voluntary vulnerability beyond any previous experience”
I asked sol whether he wanted to do it again:
“absolutely … enthusiastically … frequently … lol … please…”
That’s a yes then… The second time we played we did go in a little deeper, and we’ll keep working on that and keep blog readers advised. … and says sol, combine it with a TENS until when we get one…
You can either buy sounds in sets or individually. Remember Chase Union’s advice:
“Dilators are sold singly or in sets of 8 (in a small case) and are double ended. Sounds are sold singly–almost never in sets–and are single ended”
The sound we use is hand made at S(A)X, “hand made Stainless Steel Urethral Sound, made in the Sax metal workshop, only the best medical toy you have used!”. You can purchase it here, if you’d like to try it. I certainly recommend it. We’ve had a lot of fun with it … and we’ve only just begun.
If you’d like to peruse full sets check out this link.
“in its simplest form, is a urethral sound held in place by a PA piercing (although any urethral piercing - ampallang, PA, or apadravya - can hold them). Its purpose is urethral stimulation. Most people wear them only for play, but some people wear them all the time”
I’ve also seen urethral vibrators for sale:
I’m sure you can now see what I mean, about the potential of urethral play toys . They all sound like fun … if you’ll excuse the pun
REFERENCES AND ONLINE RESOURCES:
- Difference between sounds and dilators (shows different urethral sound instruments and their use; explains about different size metrics and types)
- You’re going to put a what?? Up my what?? (great info and anatomy diagrams about how to proceed)
Tom A Gordon - Sounds series (republished on several sites including MedicalToys.com)
Wiki Urethral Sounds
Fetlife’s sounding groups have threads on how to proceed and good links etc:
Bad Dragon - Forum:
Hardy Haberman, Fetish Diva Midori.
The Family Jewels: A Guide to Male Genital Play and Torment.
Greenery Press, 2001. ISBN 189015934