Penis Pump vs Vacuum Erection Device - What's the difference?

Penis Pump is the generic name for the ‘sex toy’ intended version of vacuum technology for your trousers. Think: Austin Power. Think: misleading adverts on the side of free pornographic websites. Think: ‘Harder, faster, longer, stronger’.

Penis pumps that you find online or in ‘sex shops’ tend to be unnecessarily huge plastic cylinders with 2 inch minimum diameters, and a hose attachment with bulb or ‘trigger’. The opening might have a silicone attachment to help keep a seal against the body to stop air escaping. If you go this route always check it has a release valve. Classically, the intention of this design is for men who have already created an erection either spontaneously, with viagra or injection. They use it to get a little bit more physical oomph. Despite claims that penis pumps can cause permanent lengthening there is no hard evidence for this (sorry, I had to). In the moment however penis pumps can give more fullness, girth and length, especially when coupled with a constriction ring (sex shop translation: ‘cock ring’).

Vacuum erection devices on the other hand use the same technology, but with a different intention, subtly changing the design, but dramatically changing the experience.

Vacuum Constriction/Erection devices, or Vacuum Pumps, or VEDs/VCDs (too much terminology frankly) refer to the medical-grade standard of vacuum device. They are designed for erectile dysfunction, when you feel aroused by for whatever reason there’s no response downstairs. This device can be used for penile rehabilitation - daily or a few times a week to keep blood flow on the go - or to keep the penis engorged by coupling with a constriction band that’s the right size for you (important).

Differences include the cylinder design. Usually a lot more compact to make it easier to use and a narrower girth to avoid testicle-suck-up when using the device from flaccid. The pressure change in the chamber is often much stronger, meaning less time, faster results. The devices tend to be tested for effectiveness through academic/medical institutions (like The Vacurect device that I recommend). They will often come with a variety of constriction ring sizes that are specifically designed for ED (this situation needs tighter rings to stop blood flowing back into the body). They are usually more intuitive too to allow for regular use and travel. This is one of the reasons I love supplying the Vacurect. There are no complicated attachments that need separate cleaning so you skip the faff and get straight into using it.

It’s up to you what you choose to try depending on your needs. Some men I’ve interviewed over the years about their ED strategies have managed to get sex shop variety penis pumps and tweak a few elements so it fits their needs, but few are able to use it for regular rehab as well as an effective way of getting a usable erection. If you wanted to use a vacuum device just for stretching the penis tissue regularly (recommended part of rehabilitation) then you could get by with a cheaper sex shop pump (just make 100% sure it has a release valve) otherwise if you want something for regular use including the best constriction technology for keeping the erection after pumping, I’d go with a medical grade device.

Image : still from Austin Powers ‘International Man of Mystery’ the movie

Victoria Cullen