Ever wondered about urethral sounding? We go over the basics for the confused and the curious alike.
We answer a lot of questions about urethral sounds in our stores, the most common of which is "what the hell are those?" And honestly, fair enough. If you aren't in the know, the objects in our glass display cases are hardly self explanatory. Laid out ominously among devices that would look at home at a dentist office or the medieval torture exhibit at the Glenbow, the sounds look a bit like irregular steel knitting needles. So what is a urethral sound, and why are they sold at a sex store?
In general, sounds are medical devices that are used to clear obstructions or dilate passages within the body. The medical tool is named for the process of sounding for depth of a body of water using a sounding line lead from a boat. As you'd expect from a medical device, sounds are typically made from body safe materials like surgical steel so that they can be sterilized. Different styles of sound are designed to serve a variety of clinical purposes, and are made in a range of sizes or gauge, sometimes measured in French, a unit of measurement equivalent to 1/3 of a millimetre. Urethral sounds are especially slim sounds designed to be used in the urethra.
So if these are medical tools, why are they in a case next to jewel-encrusted butt plugs?
Physically speaking, sounding can feel really good. The urethral opening and passage are jam packed with intensely sensitive nerve endings, and for people with penises, vaginas, and everything in between, stimulating the urethra can be a pleasurable experience. Moreover, the urethra's proximity to the clitoris and G-spot can mean that urethral stimulation can indirectly stimulate these regions, and for folks with prostates a sound could be used to stimulate the gland from within the bladder.
Psychologically, sounding can be arousing for a bunch of reasons, including but not limited to taboo, thrill/fear, or a kink for playing doctor. The same way you might not necessarily like getting smacked ("OW!") but you might like getting spanked ("Ooooh...") the mindset around the activity may be just as arousing as the activity itself- maybe even more!
With any sexual activity enjoyment is totally subjective- sounding is no different.
Sounding is what I would consider an advanced practice, but one that can be done safely with education, preparation, and the right equipment.
Any sounding journey should start with education, and luckily there are lots of resources on sounding, both from a medical and an erotic perspective, available online. Understanding the biology of the urethra is essential- the tissue of the urethra is delicate and not very elastic, and can be easily injured if the proper precautions are not taken, and the introduction of germs to the urethra can lead to complixcations like bladder infections. Preventing both injury and infection can be done with the right prep and tools!
The next step would be to prepare, beginning by figuring out what sort of sounding you’d like to do! Do you like the idea of something that you can insert and leave in place, or something that you actively move during use? Do you want it to be long, or short? Stiff or flexible? Do you want it to be slender or wide? Smooth or bumpy? Should it be hollow? Should it vibrate? Should it conduct electricity? Maybe you’re looking for more of a urethral plug, shorter and stouter than a sound. Decide what your particular fantasy is, and use that as the basis for your next move.
Once you know what kind of device you are looking for, its time to find the right gear. There are lots of scary stories of things people have used instead of proper sounding gear (this tale from a Reddit user, which thankfully has a happy ending, will haunt me forever) that really highlight importance of using the right tools. Anything being inserted into the urethra should be made from a solid, unbreakable, body safe, and non porous material, such as steel or silicone. The tool must be able to be sanitized to eliminate bacterial transfer from the outside of the body to the bladder. This can be done by boiling, soaking in a bleach & water solution and allowing it to dry completely, or using a device like a UV sanitizer or autoclave (if you happen to have one of those kicking around).
Using the right lube is also essential- not just for the tool (remember, water-based lubricants are compatible with all materials), but for your body. Using individual packages of sterile medical lubricant is best practice.
This may sound like a lot, but most of the fun stuff we do in the bedroom probably seemed like that at one point- remember how complicated putting on a condom seemed in health class? If sounding is something you’ve been thinking about trying, or if our case of mysterious metal artifacts has you intrigued, maybe it’s time you took the plunge, so to speak.