Magnus Sullivan, Author at Better Than The Hand

All posts by Magnus Sullivan

Magnus Sullivan has been at the forefront of technological and cultural shifts for more than 20 years. In 1993 Magnus founded eLine, one of the first system integration firms in San Francisco, bringing some of the biggest brands in the world online. One of his first clients was the storied progressive adult toy reseller, Good Vibrations. This was his first foray into the world of adult and he never looked back, partnering with the powerhouse, Game Link, to help create one of the most formidable companies in the online adult market. He has created two of the most awarded and recognized movies in the adult industry (‘An Open Invitation’ and ‘Marriage 2.0', which won The Feminist Porn Awards coveted ‘Movie of the Year’ award in 2016) and recently launched, a reseller of sex toys for men, and, a sex positive blog that promotes male masturbation and discusses the various social issues associated with it. Sullivan has written extensively about the need to expand and enhance content production in the adult industry and is also the author of ‘Better Than The Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex and Healthier Living’. He is a fourth-generation SF-native, lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys kite boarding, skiing, triathlon, cooking, reading, writing and just about everything else that engages his mind and his body.
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Penis Pumps: The Healthy Way, The American Way

Penis Pumps - The Secret to Instant Erections | Better Than The Hand

The Secret to an Instant Erection: Penis Pumps

When I first discovered pumping, I associated it exclusively with men who felt their penises were too small and men with erectile dysfunction. Oh, how much I had to learn! Penis Pumps are one of the most misunderstood, under-respected and most effective and radical sex toys out there. While almost all other toys focus on facilitating ejaculation, only pumps can get you hard, make you huge and get you off. Given all that I’ve personally learned over the past few years, I thought it was time to write a more definitive article on pumps and pumping.

Why Use Penis Pumps?

The most common reason people pump is for enlargement. And the most common question I receive is whether or not pumping actually works. The answer is a definitive yes (the physiology behind pumping is pretty straight forward: essentially, the vacuum created by the pump draws blood into your penis, causing an erection. Most men will then use a cock ring to maintain their erection by preventing the blood from flowing out of the penis). But what many do not know is that pumping can permanently increase the girth and length of your penis—and any other parts you choose to pump. Although timelines for permanent results can vary dramatically, regular pumpers usually see lasting effects between 1 and six months of use. And many men report that after sustained pumping, they not only have larger erections, they get their erections much easier and faster.

While enlargement is the most common reason people use penis pumps, it’s hardly the only or most compelling reason. Many people use penis pumps to help get an erection. A minute with the pump and a cock ring can get the job done quickly and effectively when nature needs a little nudge (and this is not only the case for men with ED, sometimes fatigue, stress or being hung over requires extra help when the bell rings unexpectedly). Many people pump to augment an aspect of their penis, such as girth, or head size, or length or a combination. Many people fetishize a certain shape and like to achieve a remarkable size to display and impress themselves and others. There are pumps designed exclusively to enlarge the head and scrotum, for instance. There are pumps to enlarge the anus, nipples, tits, labia, etc.. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be or look like to have a bigger…whatever…you can pump it up.

But there’s another really powerful aspect of pumping that doesn’t get enough airplay: the ability to quickly and naturally augment your sexual parts to provide your partner with a completely different sexual encounter. Sure, you can buy a strap-on with a large dildo or a penis extender, but you can also hand your partner the pump, have them pump you up, have them watch your cock magically transform from a flaccid penis to an enormous rock-hard rod—and then you can fuck them with your new super-hero penis. There is no other toy that can provide the visuals and experience that I just described. In addition to the health benefits, the ability to enable erections, the ability to enlarge and permanently increase size and the fetish factor enabled by these toys, pumps create the potential for unique foreplay and role play. Pump your dick up big, tell your blindfolded partner to reach out and grab your huge cock, and watch the look of surprise wash over them. And don’t forget that women can pump, too. Ever wonder what it would be like to move up a cup size? Ever want bigger nipples? Ever want to completely transform your/her pussy? Well, there’s a pump for that.

How to Use Penis Pumps:

Given the fact that you are messing with extremely important parts of your body, this is not the time to skimp on quality. There are lots of pumps out there, and some of the lower cost items are adequate if you’re only interested in an occasional pump to get an erection or temporarily increase size/girth. But if you have any intention of pumping regularly, the extra money you spend on a quality pumping kit will come back to you in spades over time. Why, you might ask? Well:

  • Pumps like those by LA Pump go through rigorous quality testing and are made right here in the USA. That means the manufacturers have a high level of control over the product;
  • Unlike companies that offer pumps as one of many products, LA Pump ONLY sells pumps. This means their entire business depends on their customers not only enjoying the product but spreading the word about the product;
  • By having distinct, replaceable parts for the cylinder, the valve, the tubing and the pump, if one piece breaks you can replace that piece without compromising the entire product. With other pumps, if one piece goes, the produce is toast;
  • Companies that only offer one or a few different sizes of pumps are not in it for the long haul. People who plan to pump over time need a product that will grow with their increased size and tolerance. Companies like LA Pump not only have a variety of sizes, they will even custom make cylinders! And again, because the parts are all discrete, you can use your existing pump and tubing with your new cylinder.
  • If you’re just getting started or don’t already know the pressure (PSI) you should aim for while pumping, it is VERY important to purchase a pump with an accurate pressure gauge. LA Pump offers a pump with a gauge that’s extremely high quality and accurate.

One of the most important aspects of penis pumps is understanding the role of pressure. I was shocked to learn that the target pressure is between 2-5 PSI. I have been pumping until purple, holding on as long as possible and then releasing pressure, only to repeat the process (I learned this is called ‘dynamic pumping’). I’ve since learned that experienced pumpers aim for much lower levels and allow their penis to swell in a more humane way. This also helps minimize bruising and blistering. Beginning pumpers should remain at a lower PSI (2-3) until their comfortable with more pressure (3-5 PSI). But many pumpers achieve results with 2 PSI, so don’t think more pressure means better results: it’s just the opposite, in fact!

Many of the pumpers I spoke with who use penis pumps for permanent gains described a similar process: they would pump up and read a book or watch TV for 20-30 minutes, just letting their cocks expand and remain in the cylinder.  I’m a pleasure-pumper, so my approach is totally different. I like to pump for the pleasure of it and incorporate it into my sex life—whether that’s solo or partnered. And all of the partners I’ve told about pumping are immediately and intensely curious to watch me pump. I’ve found pumping to be an incredibly fun, low-stress form of foreplay.

Because pumping is often coupled with the use of cock rings, you should consider using a pump with a cylinder that you can slip your ring onto and then easily slide it off the cylinder and onto your erect penis when you finish pumping. Again, LA Pump makes a  pump without a flange specifically for this reason: the flush cylinder allows easy placement and removal of the ring around the cylinder.

If you’d like pump, consider the following:

Lubricate you penis with a water-based lube before inserting it into the cylinder. This allows the penis to be easily drawn into and out of the cylinder. You can also improve the vacuum seal by placing lube around the base of the cylinder. If you are particularly hairy, trimming at the base of the penis will improve the seal as well.

Insert you cock into the cylinder, hold the cylinder against your groin and pump gently until you find the best comfort level for you. While everyone’s threshold is different, you should aim to pump between 2-4 PSI. Aim to pump to a level of comfort and never beyond that point. Pain is not good when it comes to pumping. Best results are achieved by pumping four times a week at pressure levels below 5 PSI for 15 minutes a session. More advanced pumpers can pump 2-3 sessions per day, with a rest period of 10-15 minutes between each session with pressure levels between 4-6 PSI.

With pumping, heat is your friend. Warmth helps expand and soften tissue. Hence, pumping in the bath, shower or hot tub is a lot easier than pumping in the snow. Make sure your penis pumps are rated for water use if pumping in wet environments.

When you finish pumping, massage whatever area you’ve pumped. Circulating blood immediately after pumping will help improve the effectiveness of your session.

Scrotum Pumping

This was new to me. Although I’ve used pumps for years, I had no idea people pumped their ball sacks as well. Awesome! And as is always the case with pumping, it’s not just to enlarge, it’s also to compensate for medical issues that have affected the size of ones testis. But the main draw seems to be for the fetish community, who loves nothing more than a grand show! And what could possibly be better than enormous balls as a backdrop to your enormous cock! Seriously, once you see just how large people can pump their cock and balls in one tube, you’ll faint. And when you wake, you’ll want to pump your balls! Just to get an idea of what I’m talking about, take your second finger and thumb from both hands and create a circle by touching their tips—that’s how wide your cock and balls can be! No joke, I’ve seen it! Just look at some of the pumps that accommodate this unique and stunning form of pumping.

LA Pump has pumps for advanced and beginner scrotum pumpers. Their large cylinders allow you to put all of your stuff in the cylinder while the advanced pumps have separate chambers for your balls and your cock, so you can pump them separately. The issue with the more advanced pumps is learning how to elegantly enter and exit the chambers.

Foreskin Pumping

I had my foreskin taken from me without my permission or consent. And I think that is the case for most of us. And if, like me, you wonder what it would be like to have your foreskin back, or if you’d like to sport a more euro look, pumping allows just that! When I first saw a foreskin pump I had no idea what it was: A small cylinder…a ball in the cylinder…wtf? Well, that ball is the magic that conjures the foreskin fairy. As the suction increases, the ball moves down, pressing against the head as the skin moves around the ball. Over time (and we’re talking 3-12 weeks), the skin elongates and wraps around the head. And voila! Foreskin!

If you’re considering foreskin pumping, here are some guidelines to follow:

Put a generous amount of lube on your head, your cock and the cylinder. Carefully pull the skin over the ball. Attach the pump to the foreskin cylinder and then place the cylinder over the foreskin and then insert your penis with the ball in place into the cylinder. Pump gently to draw the foreskin around the foreskin ball and into the foreskin cylinder. Go slowly and stop if there is any pain. You may have to readjust the ball and experiment with pumping pressure.

Anal Pumps, aka Rosebud

Pumping of the anus, also known as Rosebud pumping, results in increased sensitivity and stunning visuals. This is generally considered to be a partner activity, as it may be difficult to operate alone. For best results, use a good silicone lube over the rod before inserting into your anus. Then slowly pump your anus to achieve the storied ‘rosebud’ effect.

This is NOT a beginner or casual pumping technique. This is often used to help prepare fore anal fisting or other advanced anal play. You should read a variety of the forums on anal pumping before attempting this.

Hygene: Cleaning Your Penis Pumps

You should clean your equipment after every use and completely dry it before storage. Use a mild antibacterial detergent to clean the cylinder (avoid detergents with harsh chemicals or abrasive materials in odor to retain the clarity of your cylinder). 

For more in depth and professional information, check out our video with LA Pumps owner, Chris Kalev on our YouTube channel and subscribe!


How to Use Cock Rings: The Complete Men’s Guide

When I first started experimenting with cock rings the one question I never thought I’d have was ‘how do you put them on?’  I mean, you just slide it down your shaft and ‘bingo!’ right? Little did I know there are a variety of different types of rings and a variety of different ways to use them. And if you don’t have some basic information about their use, you can easily suffer the pains of squished balls, pinched balls, plucked pubic hair, incredibly tight fits and embarrassing fumbling in the presence of your sexed-up partner. Believe me, there’s no better way to kill the moment than entangling your scrotum in a cock-ring knot.

Everything You Need to Know About Condoms

Most people don’t know that condoms are considered a ‘Class II Medical Device’ and, as such, are subject to FDA testing and regulation.  Manufactures test all condoms electronically for holes and other defects and they manually test select condoms from every batch.  The FDA also conducts its own tests of condoms and randomly conducts on-site inspections of manufacturing plants.

Great Sex Means Avoiding These Three Rookie Mistakes In Bed

Great sex is less about learning specific tactics and more about developing tact. The best way to figure out if there’s room for improvement is to look at the image that comes to mind when you hear the word, ‘sex.’ If you think sex = intercourse, you have a lot to learn.  The good news is, most of us are in the same boat, so no one’s likely to notice any shortcomings. But a few simple tips will not only radically improve your sex life, they will set the foundation for a great relationship over time.

The Art of Sex: The Best Sex Tips for Foreplay

How to Gamify Your Sex Life: Toys and the Art of Foreplay

Creating ‘the mood’ usually conjures up images of romantic dinners, candles, music, soft lighting, sexy talk, etc. While just fine, they’re not exactly unique scenarios and they usually don’t result in relationship growth. Toys, however, are great transitions to sexy-time, offer genuine opportunities to explore new sexual dynamics and open the door to intimacy and profound trust. What’s really unique about toys is that they make the process of moving from a normal evening into a heated bedroom session so fun: in short, they ‘gamify’ sex! Here are just a few examples of how toys can bridge foreplay and orgasm.

What Sex Toy to Buy Your Man and How to Use It

Straight men are WAY behind the curve in experimenting with sex toys to enhance both self-pleasure and partner sex, and a lot of guys are really embarrassed to even talking about toys, let alone buy and use them. In short, they can use some help.

Most straight men are pretty cock-centric and penetration-focussed when it comes to their idea of pleasure—so there are certainly a lot of toys that meet that need. But toys can also be used to enhance partner sex, explore new boundaries and develop a better understanding of each other’s bodies and interests. So let’s take a quick look at toys that are effective and fun, but let’s also talk about how you might introduce the toy in ways that will have him begging for more—toys, that is

Flavored Lube: Would You Like Blueberry or Strawberry with Your BJ?

Flavored Lubes Make Oral Sex Fun–and Tasty!

When considering the effectiveness of any toy or product, I like to look at whether the it offers stress-free and fun ways to enjoy new experiences. In this light, flavored lubes just might be the best gateway drug for sex there is. Dribbling lube over your cock and asking your partner to tell you which flavor they prefer is both fun and incredibly sexy! Seriously: when I received my first set of flavored lubes, I did just that: I squirted it over my hard cock and asked my partner what they thought of the flavor. Then I squeezed another sample over my cock and asked the same. And again, until they had tasted them all. I approached it all very professionally and when they found a flavor they liked and started to devour my tasty cock, I had to literally pull them from me with an audible ‘POP!’ as their taught lips left the tip.

Why Straight Men Need Their Own Box of Dildos and Vibrators

When men don’t know the toys they use with their lovers, they’re pretty much guaranteed to use them poorly. You need to USE the toys yourself in order to understand how they work and what they feel like. If you don’t want to buy them, you can always go to a store with good sales reps and get to know the toys better by holding them, seeing how they feel, how they buzz, etc.

Penis Extensions: Everyone Needs One (or Four)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could change the length, girth and texture of your cock at will, providing a completely different experience for your lover every time you had sex? Well, I can do that — and I’m here to tell you, so can you!

My secret: penis extensions!

really-ample-penis-enhancerAnd yes, I do have a size issue, but it’s not what you’re thinking. The only complaint I’ve ever received from lovers is that I am too big — so why would I want to ‘extend’ that? And for some strange reason, it had never occurred to me that changing my cock was a great way to add novelty and surprise, so penis extensions weren’t even on my radar. But as sales for extensions continued to grow at, I decided to take a closer look at this under-appreciated category. And what did I find? A collection of amazing works of art, like elegant capes to drape your cock. They’re like fuck fashion!

What the Cuck?!

The Irony of the Alt-Right’s Use of ‘Cuckold’ to Signify Weakness

There’s a lot of discourse around the etymology of the word cuckold today as people try to understand the meaning and history of this word that has suddenly become such a powerful weapon of character assassination by the alt-right. We are dealing with a group of people that is largely ahistorical and intensely nationalistic, however, so digging deep into the etymology or referencing European usage will quickly lead you astray if you want to understand how it’s referenced by, say, Rush Limbaugh.

Let’s be clear about the origin and meaning of the word currently in use: it stems from porn ‘cuckold’ movies made in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California. While this genre has a long tradition, the dominant theme in recent, popular cuckold movies is extremely racially charged: A large, well-endowed African-American man has sex with a white woman in front of her white, submissive husband, who is often humiliated and denigrated in various ways by both the man and the wife. It is an angry and ugly portrayal of one of the more interesting and subtle psychological phenomenon in human sexuality. The porn motif, however, conveniently dovetails with many aspects that drive our current political dialog: fear of race, fear of women’s sexuality, a general sense of a loss of control (associated with liberal policy/globalization), the empowerment of others at the expense of the white male, the rise of minorities and women on the backs of passive white men, et cetera.

The Best Sex Toys for Couples (And How to Use Them)

The great opportunity to incorporate toys into our partner sex is generally lost because we often approach the topic with the wrong perspective: it’s not about purchasing toys that are marketed as ‘Couples Toys’ that will magically induce orgasms where none existed before, but rather it’s about incorporating your solo sex practices into your partner sex.

Sqweel XT for Men by Lovehoney

As soon as I learned that Lovehoney, makers of arguably the best cunnilingus toy for women, was producing a toy for men, I was thrilled. I’ve seen many lovers clinch their thighs and point their feet in delight while experiencing the exquisite pleasure of 1,000 tongues gently flicking their clit — and I wanted some of that on my cock! I was SO ready for this toy that when it finally arrived I went ‘…huh?! That don’t look right.’

Is Masturbation the Key to World Peace?

It’s a difficult and scary time to talk about male sexuality. The endless media stream of physical violence and rape cast a long shadow on our cultural landscape. We live in a time where a presidential candidate can brag about non consensual advances and slut shaming, and still be taken seriously.

This isn’t confined to less enlightened segments of the population; even in the most progressive communities there are incidents of rape, dosing and sexual violence. Is this the last gasp of a cultural relic crumbling in the light of transparency? Or is it the beginning of a long process of cultural realignment as puritans respond to decades of lost ground in the culture wars? Either way, as dialog, education and action explore the connection between sexuality and violence, between self-love and empathy, and between the need for explicit verbal consent and the lack of emotional intelligence, we arrive together at this critical point: What happens next? Do we react and respond to control and contain male sexuality? Or work together to explore and expand it?

Why Is Female Masturbation Celebrated and Male Masturbation Shamed?

There is a profound dichotomy between the way men and women view, practice and embrace masturbation, and this rift may be at the core of deep cultural barriers that limit not only healthy sex lives but also compromise basic relations between men and women.

For the past 50 years, sex-positive feminists such as Betty Dodson have worked hard to recast self-pleasure for women as a sign of health, liberation, power and independence. While owning a vibrator or dildo a few decades ago might have suggested a lackluster sex life, it now represents the empowered woman who knows how to manage all of her needs well. Men, however, lack the intellectual and cultural framework to place masturbation at the center of a sexually, emotionally and intellectually vibrant lifestyle. The result: women will talk openly with each other about their toys, their experiences, their interests and the positive affects of masturbation and they generally have more sophisticated understandings of sex, pleasure and gender. Men?…Silence, fear and shame.