Dilators/Sounding Rods: 5 Steps to the Best Urethral Sounding Experience

What are sounding rods?

Graduated Urethral Stainless Steel Sound

They’re unique. They’re misunderstood. They’re a little taboo. And for those who enjoy using them: They’re also PLEASURABLE & FUN.

A sounding rod/dilator is typically made from medical-grade stainless steel or high grade silicone. They are long thin rods or tubes with a handle that are inserted down the male urethra (some can extend into the bladder if desired). When inserted, the rod gently stretches the urethral passage for intense sensations, sometimes with the express purpose of preventing ejaculation to further enhance the sexual experience.

What are sounds good for?

There’s no doubt this is one serious sex toy! There are a lot of men out there, however, that say it’s one of their most favorite forms of stimulation.

Just as the head of the penis is super-sensitive to touch, the urethra is also packed with highly-responsive nerve endings which feel amazing when stimulated.

  • It can make the penis more sensitive and responsive to external stimulation
  • It can add a whole different edge to sex
  • It’s a chance to try something new
  • Sounding can enhance solo play, and is also a great way to share intimacy between partners

Practice makes perfect!

Keep it safe and fun! It’s important to remember that sounding or dilating may be a very different approach to achieving pleasure than what you are used to. It could seem a little strange and uncomfortable at first - as does anything new! Just take it slow.

You might discover just how much you love it - or you could discover that it’s really not your thing; and that’s OK! Trying something new in the bedroom is all about letting your body be curious, and finding out what works for you.

But - it does take time and practice to develop the skills to get the most sensation out of it. This makes sounding/dilating ideal for adventurous people who like trying new things.  Check out our 5 step checklist to learn all about it!

Spit is NOT lube!

Slippery Stuff Hypoallergenic Water Based LubricationLube is your friend! For safe and fun urethral play, make sure you have plenty of sterile water based lubricant like Slippery Stuff on hand. It mimics natural body fluids, is easy to clean up after, and makes things nice and easy. Because of the sterile and highly sensitive nature of the urethra, stay away from anything with sensations like warming, cooling, or tingling - as you could get an infection. Since lubrication makes EVERYTHING better, try checking out our posts on Why Lube Should be Your Best Friend, and the cheat sheet about Choosing the Right Lube for You.


1: The #1 rule is safety first!!

Make sure that your penis is clean and dry and your sounding rods are sterile before you attempt to insert anything into your urethra. Stainless and 100% silicone sounds can be sterilized in clean boiling water. And always make sure to wash your hands!

To use sounding rods, your penis must be flaccid rather than erect to allow easy passage of the rod into the urethra. If you’re hard then your urethra will constrict and make the initial insertion uncomfortable.

2: Lube it Up!

Apply plenty of lube to the head of the penis, paying particular attention to the opening of the urethra. You can use a lubricant syringe to direct additional lube directly into the urethral opening if you wish (but make sure it is sterilized first). Then apply a generous portion of lubricant to a small sized sounding rod. You want to start with the largest sounding rod that will fit you without causing major discomfort. If you begin with a rod that is too thin, you increase the risk of perforation. One that’s 4 – 6 mm in diameter would be a perfect dimension for your first insertion. 


3: Go Nice and Easy

Hold your penis in an upright position and gently place the tip of the sounding rod into your urethral opening.  It should start to slowly slide in with gravity’s help. DO NOT PUSH. The urethra is an extremely sensitive and delicate area of your anatomy and you can injure yourself if sounding rods are inserted too quickly or with force.

If you come up against any resistance then stop, relax, and wait for the rod to continue downwards. Don’t be afraid to use loads of lubricant! By just holding the rod carefully in place it will slide down the full length of the urethra and into your bladder with no need to force it. Sounding rods may feel unusual at first, but they SHOULD NOT HURT.

4: Time to Relish

The sound will reach a point where it naturally stops. Leave it for a while and allow your urethra to relax around your toy.

Some men find it intensely pleasurable to move the rod in and out of the urethra slowly. Once you’re comfortable with the positioning of the rod, you can experiment by gently moving it in and out about half an inch. It may take some practice to find the perfect angle of play; the urethra takes a bend just before the prostate, so just take things slow. You may also find light strokes up and down your penis to be pleasurable, but if anything hurts or it feels uncomfortable just stop, relax, and slowly remove the rod.

5: And There You Have It

Once you’re finished playing, relax and gently pull the rod out from your penis. Because sounding rods are often used  to prevent ejaculation, you will need to carefully remove the rod if you feel the need to orgasm. Don’t rush; this is when accidents can happen and people cause themselves injuries. As with any sex toy, if at any time you feel any discomfort you should stop immediately.

Once you’ve tried and are comfortable with the size of your first sounding rod, you can try the next size up, or experiment with different types or shapes of sounds. Sounding rods are great for solo play or for sharing with a partner; just make sure that if someone else is in control of the rod that you communicate throughout. Learn more about types of sounds and their additional features here.

Used properly, slowly, and with practice – 
sounding rods can become an intense and incredibly pleasurable part of your sex life.

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