Urethral sounding is the name that's used to describe the practice of inserting items into the urethra - that's the 'pee hole' in everyday language.
The reason urethral sounding seems like a bit of a medical term is because that's exactly how this exciting sexual experience started - a way to clear blockages from the urethra tube in the penis. Today though, using urethral sounds has become a satisfying kind of sexual pleasure or masturbation play that millions of people enjoy around the world.
Curious to know more about these mysterious urethral sounds?
We've put together a detailed guide that explains what's involved, the kind of sensations you can expect, the different kinds of sounds, toys, and - importantly - how to make sure your play is completely safe.
Oh - and since customers often get in touch with us to ask about toys and practices, we've included some of our most frequently asked questions and answers too. If you are in the market for sounds though, just remember, everybody is different, perfect urethral sounds for one mind be too much for others.
You don't need telling that the penis has plenty of sensitive nerve endings for pleasure and pain - and the thing is, you're generally only stimulating a small percentage of those nerves when you jerk off.
Now, they're obviously good nerves to stimulate - but they're not the only ones that can feel good. Sounding is really just a way of stimulating a new set of nerve endings - the ones that line the tube you pee out of.
Using a urethral sound feels like you're being penetrated - but it's often a very new sensation for a lot of guys. We're all used to feeling fluid pass through our urethra - and while sounding feels a little like this, it's usually a more intense version of the feeling. Depending on the length of the sound you're using, you may find that you can stimulate your prostate too - which can lead to powerful orgasms and a bunch of new intense sensations.
Everyone's body is different though - and what some people consider uncomfortable other people consider to be pleasurable. Like all sexual practices, it's a good idea to experiment to work out what kind of stimulation works for you.
Of course, the physical feeling of using a sound is only one aspect. Like with all kinds of play, how you feel psychologically when you or your partner is using a sound is a big part of getting off. If you're using alone, the taboo feeling can be quite exciting. If you're using urethral sounds with a partner, the feeling of vulnerability and submission can be really intense too.
There's an almost endless selection of urethral sounds available to buy - so it's useful to know what kind of toys are out there.
Strictly speaking, a 'sound' or 'sounder' is a long, thin, cylinder-shaped rod - but the term 'urethral sound' is often used to describe other toys too.
As well as traditional sounds, there are also 'plugs'. Penis plugs don't go as deep into your urethra - and sometimes have a ball or hoop on the end so they can be easily removed. These tabs can also be used to manipulate the urethral sound for the perfect fit and immense stimulation.
Catheters are often also talked about in sounding conversations too. A catheter is a medical device designed to collect urine - but there are lots of people with a catheter fetish who tie them into sex play.
There tends to be three main materials that sounds are made from:
The material you go for will really be down to your personal preference. Silicone sounders can be a great gentle option when you're starting out. Medical-grade titanium or stainless steel are obviously going to feel harder - but they are often easier to insert and slightly smoother feeling when they're inside you.
Like most sex toys, sounds can vary in length a lot. A starter kit will usually include a metal or silicone sound which is somewhere between 3-6 inches long - but the sky's the limit when you explore these objects in more detail.
It's not uncommon to find sounds that are 12 inches or more. Needless to say, a foot-long sound isn't a beginner item - but if you like the stimulation a sound toy offers, you may decide that you'd like to work your way up to a toy that size.
A urethral sound's girth is usually measured in millimeters - and, just the same as the length - it's a good idea to start small and work your way up if you like the sensation.
5-6mm is usually where sounds begin - and with 'cock stuffing' becoming more and more popular, you probably won't be surprised to find that there are some very thick urethral sound toys out there. A good beginner sound set will have different girths you can play with to work out what's right for you.
The most typical kind of urethral sound toy is a simple long and thin straight rod. However, there are brands that produce different shapes and textures, depending on your personal preference.
Beading is the most common texture, and it's popular because it can enhance the sensation if you move the toy around or move it in and out of your penis. Curved sounds are popular too - especially because they can be very effective at stimulating the prostate gland.
A popular kind of play involves having a partner put their mouth around the object you're using before humming slightly - sending gentle vibrations through the sound and down your shaft. If you're planning on using solo or want to mix up your partner play, then a vibrating toy can recreate this sensation very effectively.
A vibrating teaser or plug will have an area for a battery or charging point - then, an insertable section that's designed to be slid into your tip and through your shaft. Vibrating sounds will often have different speeds and settings too, so you can vary the sensations until you find the most satisfying for you.
You'll probably have plenty of sound-shaped objects in your home - but don't be tempted to use them instead of a specifically designed sound toy.
Objects like pens, pencils, straws, and even your fingers might look like they're suitable - but you have to remember that you're going to be putting them in contact with very fragile tissue inside your penis. Urethral sound prices are very reasonable, so don't risk using the wrong item and injuring yourself.
The number one thing to think about when it comes to being safe is cleanliness.
A lot of the tissue inside the human body isn't used to being in contact with anything firm - so it can be more susceptible to injury than your skin. Even slight abrasions could lead to urinary tract infections (UTI) or make the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) more likely.
The good news is, sterilizing sounds in boiling water or a Betadine povidone-iodine solution before use will make sure they're 100% clean and safe to use. To be safe, you should also wash your hands and around your genitals to make sure everything's as clean as can be before any insertion.
Generally speaking, they are safe as long as everything is clean and sterilized. That said, there are a few conditions that could be aggravated by sounding, including:
If you have any of these conditions, you should probably wait until the issues have cleared up or been treated before you experiment with any sort of insertion in your urethra opening.
Like prostate play, using one can be seen as slightly taboo - so it might feel like something that's difficult to talk about with your partner.
The truth is, urethral sounds are actually a fairly common adult sex toy for pleasure and stimulation - so you might be surprised at how receptive your partner is. If you're not sure how to bring the subject up, mentioning seeing an online shop or on social media can be a good ice-breaker - and explaining that you like the idea will help you gauge whether or not your partner is keen to try too.
So, how does sounding stimulation actually work?
After cleaning everything, the process is fairly simple.
With the sound in your urethra, you can work on adding some other kinds of stimulation. You might decide to massage your cock to see how it feels with the sound inside you. Then again, you might just want to give the sound your full attention, sliding it back and forward, rotating it, or using it to stimulate your prostate.
Remember, as long as you're not experiencing any pain; there are no rules when it comes to using a urethral sound. Different men will like different actions - and don't forget the different pleasures will come from the use of different thicknesses or shapes of sound. What you are really seeking is penile stimulation.
When you're ready to finish, slowly take the toy out of the urethra. If there's any dragging sensation or discomfort, don't be afraid to add more lube again. When you're done, it's a good idea to see if you can pee - as this flushes any bacteria out of the urethra naturally.
Needless to say, you'll need to make sure everything's clean before you put it away - and finish up by washing your hands and around your genitals.
We get lots of questions about sounding and the urethral sounds we stock - so we've included a few answers to common customer questions. Of course, if there's something you want to know and you can't find an answer here, just get in touch using our instant message function and we'll get back to you we an expert answer as quickly as possible!
Not in the long-term, no. If you're new to using urethral sounds or you've recently started using a different sound, you might feel some slight discomfort when you pee after a session, but this usually eases after a day or so.
Firstly, don't panic. Try to relax and firmly feel your shaft to see where the sound is located. Then, try to apply a little pressure on the sound to push it towards the tip of your penis.
A warm bath or shower will help to relax the muscles too - as will adding some lube to your urethra opening to prevent any friction stopping the sound from moving.
If there's nothing you can do to free the sound, you should seek medical help at the nearest emergency room. It's natural to feel a little embarrassed as a patient showing up to the ER with something stuck in your pee hole - but it's far better to be a little embarrassed and safe than it is to cause yourself an injury by not getting professional help.
No, as long as you follow the instructions above and make sure your movements are gentle, using urethral sounds is very safe and it's very unlikely that you'll do any damage to your genitals, prostate, or bladder.
Although urethral sounds were traditionally used as medical implements, there's nothing to suggest your experience will offer any medical results or health benefits. That said, being sexually satisfied and stimulated does come with health benefits - including reduced stress, lowered anxiety hormone levels, and increased feelings of wellbeing. So, if the idea of urethral sound appeals to you, it might be a feel-good way of adding to your sex life!
These sounds are perfect for beginners. They are double-ended, with each side of the sound being a different size. They also feature a small bump a few inches down the sound. These bumps are very useful as they stop you from inserting the sound too far.
Possibly the most common type of sound used for sexual pleasure. These are also double-ended, and feature a curved S shape. The curve makes them very comfortable to insert in the urethra.
These are some of the shortest sounds available and are perfect for people transitioning from penis plugs to a urethral sound. They have straight smooth bodies, but the main feature is their ends. Dittle sounds have flat ends, which function perfectly as handles and can even be attached to other devices such as vibrators or electrical stimulators.
Pratt sounds are more of an intermediate urethral sound, designed for people with a decent level of experience. They look similar to Hegar sounds at first glance, but Pratt sounds are usually longer, and have a more pronounced curve.
These are another kind of sound that is suitable for beginners. They are only single-sided, with the other end being slightly thicker to form a good handle for you to hold onto. They tend to be quite short, and the insertion end has a small bullet-shaped piece on the end for extra stimulation.
Van Buren sounds are only for the most experienced and advanced sound users. They are long enough to reach the entire length of the urethra and stimulate the bladder. These sounds have a J-shape, which allows them to comfortably follow the curve of the urethra, although it does mean they can only be inserted or removed while the penis is flaccid.