Erectile Dysfunction Support Sleeve: What Is It?

Support sleeves are devices that attach to the outside of the penis. They can be helpful if you have erectile dysfunction (ED). You can also use them if you don’t have ED.

When you use a sleeve to manage erectile dysfunction, it holds your penis in an erect position, allowing you to participate in sexual activities. There are two types of support sleeves: Penis sleeves and penile support devices. 

Penis sleeve

Penis sleeves are hollow, penis-shaped devices that you place over or wrap around your penis. These devices come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and may include vibrators for extra stimulation. 

Some devices stay in place with a band around the testicles, and others have a harness you wear around the waist. 

Penile support device

Penile support devices do not cover or wrap around the penis as penis sleeves do. They consist of two rings and a rod. One ring fits just under the head of the penis, one around the base of the penis, and the rod runs along the underside of the penis shaft. 

These devices may allow for more sensation during intercourse than penis sleeves, as the penis is still fully exposed when using them. 

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Who can use ED support sleeves?

Anybody can use penis support sleeves, and they may do so for various reasons:

You can use penis sleeves to increase the length and width of your penis for sexual intercourse. 

If you experience premature ejaculation, you can use penis sleeves to decrease sensation during intercourse, allowing you to participate for longer durations than you might otherwise. 

If you have erectile dysfunction, penis support sleeves may be an effective way to manage your condition, allowing you to engage in penetrative sex. 

Pros of using a support sleeve for erectile dysfunction

There are several potential advantages of support sleeves for erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • They do not require medical consultation or prescription

  • They offer an alternative to medication, hormonal, or surgical ED treatment

  • There are many options, so you can find one that suits you

  • Certain types can increase penis length and girth

  • You can easily buy them online or from sex shops

  • There are minimal risks and side effects from using them 

Cons of using a support sleeve for erectile dysfunction

Some potential disadvantages of support sleeves include:

  • Devices specifically for erectile dysfunction can be expensive

  • You’ll need to do a lot of research to find the device that’s right for you

  • They may be cumbersome or difficult to use

How does a support sleeve work for ED?

For an erection to occur, blood vessels in the penis need to relax, and blood needs to flow into the penis at an amount sufficient for it to stay firm and erect. If you have erectile dysfunction, you cannot maintain your penis in this erect state or get it erect from a flaccid state.

Although penis sleeves and penile support devices look different, they both hold the penis in an erect position so you can engage in sexual activities. These devices allow someone with erectile dysfunction to participate in penetrative sex, even if they cannot achieve or maintain an erection.

How to use a support sleeve

Using a penile support sleeve is a reasonably straightforward process, and it depends on the type of device and model you choose.

For a penis sleeve, some models may require you to wrap the device around the penile shaft. With others, you slip it over the penis and secure it using either a band around the testicles or a harness around the waist. 

It is sometimes best to put on penis sleeves when your penis is partially erect, allowing the full erection to occur once securely inside the device. 

However, if you can’t achieve a partial or full erection, it’s necessary to get a device that includes a band to secure around the testicles or waist. Securing the device allows you to partake in sexual activities with or without an erection. 

You may find it beneficial to use lube on your penis before putting the sleeve on. When your penis sleeve is correctly fitted, it should feel snug but not uncomfortably tight.

For penile support devices, you secure the top band just beneath the head of the penis, the bottom band around the base of the penis against the pubic bone, and ensure the rod is in place and comfortable along the underside of the penis shaft. 

Are ED support sleeves safe?

Penile support sleeves are generally safe to use and are a non-invasive treatment option for erectile dysfunction. However, cleaning the device after use is important to ensure you don’t get an infection. 

The device should come with instructions on cleaning and maintaining it properly. 

Are ED support sleeves effective?

There is limited published data on the effectiveness of penis support sleeves for erectile dysfunction, with most reports being personal accounts from people who have used them. 

A 2017 review¹ of non-pharmacological and non-surgical treatment options for erectile dysfunction states penis sleeves and support devices may be effective treatment options for people with ED depending on several factors.

The effectiveness of penis sleeves may depend on their size, shape, thickness, vibrator capacity, and how these factors work with each person. 

Additionally, if you can’t achieve an erection, the outside of the penis may not come into much contact with the wall of the sleeve. This could potentially limit the amount of sensation during sexual intercourse. 

Some penis sleeve models are customizable, which allows you to have them made in exactly the right size for you. 

A more recent 2019 review² of management options for ED stated that although more research on support sleeves and devices for ED is needed, they may be effective and affordable options for people with ED. 

They also noted that people can still achieve orgasms with these devices. 

Some people may find it helpful to talk with someone knowledgeable about these devices, such as a sex therapist. They can help you discuss different options and advise finding a suitable device for you. 

Associated risks with using a support sleeve

There are very few risks associated with using support sleeves, but you need to ensure they’re fitted properly before use. Otherwise, they may cause pressure or friction on the penis, which might be painful. 

Additionally, aggressive use of penis sleeves may cause a penis fracture, which occurs when the internal penis tissue is ruptured. A penis fracture will need medical attention immediately to prevent permanent damage. 

Another thing to remember is that there may be an underlying cause for ED. Underlying causes may include:

  • Reactions to medications, such as antidepressants

  • Health conditions, such as heart disease

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Psychological issues, such as depression or stress

  • Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or drinking too much

Penis sleeves may effectively allow you to participate in sexual activities, but they do not address any underlying causes of ED. 

Alternative ED treatment options

Many treatment options available for erectile dysfunction may be effective for you. Treatments include:

  • Therapy for psychological issues

  • Oral medications that increase blood flow to the penis

  • Penis injections that produce erections

  • Medications you insert into the end of the penis, causing an erection

  • Hormonal treatments, such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)

  • Vacuum devices for increasing blood flow to the penis

  • Surgical procedures, such as penis implants

When to visit a doctor

Many people will experience erectile function issues occasionally throughout their lives. Penis sleeves and support devices can help you with these issues, allowing you to partake in sexual activities. 

However, if you regularly have difficulties achieving or maintaining an erection, it’s important to discuss the issue with your doctor. You may have an underlying health condition that needs addressing. 

The lowdown

Penis support sleeves are external devices that you attach to the penis. They can be effective treatment options if you have erectile dysfunction, as they allow you to engage in sexual activities, even if you cannot achieve or maintain an erection. 

Penis support sleeves have minimal risks, but they must be suited to your body and requirements to be effective. There may also be an underlying cause of ED, so it’s vital to discuss the issue with a doctor.

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