It’s been a full year since I got my semi rigid AMS Spectra erectile device. Below you will find the most frequently asked questions and answers surrounding my ED (erectile device) and my experience and feelings about it.
This is what the actual device looks like:
When was your stage one surgery?
I underwent my stage one on February 4th, 2016, my surgeons were Dr Crane and Dr Safa. This surgery consisted of the following procedures: phalloplasty, urethroplasty, scrotoplasty, v-nectomy (colpocleisis). Delayed glansplasty 15 days later w/ Dr Chen.
When was your stage two surgery:
I underwent my stage two on October 11th, 2016, my surgeon was Dr Chen. This surgery consisted of the following procedures:
How long do you have to wait after stage one before you can get an erectile device?
Typically 9-12 months.
How long do you have to wait before you are cleared for sex?
Do you have 1 rod or 2?
I have 1 rod. Almost all RFF’s (and even some ALT’s) are only wide enough to accommodate 1 rod. Keep in mind that there is a urethra (if you have UL) as well as ingoing and outgoing blood flow to the penis that can’t be compromised. Forcing a second rod in when you don’t have the space could compress blood flow or restrict urine output. Your surgeon should be able to tell you if you can fit 1 or 2. If they are unsure in the office when examining you, they will certainly know during surgery once they dilate a tract in the penis where the implant is to be housed.
How is the ED attached?
I will just speak for how it was mounted in my body through the techniques used by my surgeon, Dr Chen. At the time of my surgery the semi rigid was wrapped in a dacron sheath (looks and feels like a chinese finger trap) and mounted to the pubic bone using 4 industrial sutures. Eventually the bone binds itself to the ED and the sutures are not what is keeping it secured to the body. But initially (first 8 weeks) you have to be very gentle so as not to detach these sutures. This is what the dacron sheath looks like:
Do you look like you have a boner all the time?
No. Seriously, not at all. Not even a little bit. Unless of course I want to, in which case, YES, and it’s awesome!.. I actually chose the rod because I wanted to enhance my size. I never thought I would want the rod. I was always planning for the pump even if it meant it needed to be replaced multiple times over the course of my life – I was fine with that. But as you move through these surgery stages, when this process is actually up close to you and not just a dream any longer, you have a more intimate idea about the things that are important to you and sometimes they can shift from what you initially believed you wanted or needed based on what your outcome is. I’m a very thin guy and my penis size felt a bit underwhelming to me. I chose the semi rigid because I wanted to enhance and utilize all of my size all the time, rather than just when erect. It’s hard to explain unless you experience it yourself, but the rod is actually quite versatile. Yes, it occasionally needs an adjustment, but all men adjust themselves here and there – that just comes with the territory. And frankly, I like that I need to adjust sometimes because it affirms my manhood and makes me feel proud.
Does your penis still flop around and swing?
Yes, Yes, Yes! It moves quite freely. Not exactly like it did pre-implant, but it does very much still swing when I walk. And when I jiggle my hips it absolutely flops side to side. I totally get how this seems impossible for it both to jiggle & swing, and also be firm enough for sex, but it just is!
Can you point it upward and have it stay that way?
Pretty much, yes. What I do is bend it a bit past where I want it to be and then it will lower slightly and stay. This is mostly applicable when I am standing. So I will bend it up towards my stomach and then when I let go it stays at about a right angle. When I’m lying down it’s quite easy to make it stand erect because it’s not as affected by gravity.
Can you lay on your stomach?
I can. I waited at least 2 months before I started doing this though. As a side/belly sleeper, I can atest to this being challenging during the healing process, but it was challenging during stage 1 as well. There are a lot of trying hurdles throughout this process, but ultimately I knew they were all very much worth it to me. After I was fully healed I was able to lay on my belly again. In terms of hard floors, I can lay on my stomach, but I usually prefer not to. If I till my pelvis a bit I can take any pressure off the rod, but there is definitely a different feeling now since the angle of the rod does protrude a bit from the body, at least in how it relates to my anatomy. Again, I’m very lean, so this would likely be a different scenario with guys with some more fat on their bodies.
Do you feel limited in physical exercise or sports?
The only thing I’ve chosen to limit myself in is yoga. I used to do a ton of Bikram yoga. I have a chronic cervical issue that was getting triggered by my yoga practice anyhow, so I can’t say that I would still be practicing even if I didn’t have the semi rigid. My main reason for opting out of this activity is that there are many poses that have you laying on your belly on a hard floor with minimal padding. Sometimes lifting upper and lower body off the floor and balancing on the abdomen and pelvis. These are postures I prefer not to do, even though I am able. I just choose not to risk it. In general, I’m a pretty active guy. I run, hike, climb, swim, go to the gym, and I’ve even gone horseback riding – all with zero issues. So I wouldn’t let your level of activity be a deciding factor with your ED.
If you sustained a blow to the groin could this cause the ED to break away from the pubic bone?
Is this something that could happen – yes. Is this something that I think is likely – no. Is this something I spend much time thinking about or obsessing over – nope. Again, I think there are inherent risks and sacrifices that come with this process. You have to ask yourself what is most important to you and what you’re willing to lay on the line. If you do martial arts and you don’t wear a protective cup, or you do direct care in a behavioral health field with clients that are frequently physically assaultive, well, then you might want to consider a different kind of ED. Is detachment of the device a risk? Yes… Is it also possible with an inflatable? Yes… Is it more likely with semi rigid? Yes… Both the inflatable and the semi rigid have their pros and cons. You have to weigh these risks and benefits to determine which is right for you.
Does your ED make noises or click when you move it?
It did when I first got it. It was stiffer in the beginning before it had gotten much movement back and forth and all around. Now I rarely ever hear it make any noise, but once in a great while I do. In the beginning when moving it I could feel more of the individual joints. After a few months though of moving it all the time and loosening it up this almost completely went away. Now when I bend it, it feels more like Gumby dick than a K’Nex rod. Fuck yes!
How has sex been?
I’m still hanging onto my “V” card as of now. I’m single and finding the right partner to share this experience with, for me, feels really important. I’ve of course used it solo and it works great for jerking off with my hand or with a masturbation sleeve (similar to a fleshlight). I’ve had no issues at all with it being firm enough.
Are you happy with your implant?
I’m content. What I have right now was the closest semblance to what I’m looking for longterm and I see it as a placeholder till my ideal implant becomes available. Waiting till a better implant option came on the market was absolutely not something I was willing to do. It would have been an excuse for me to delay resuming sexual relationships because I wouldn’t have felt confident. I felt impotent before I got my IPP (internal penile prosthesis). External devices just aren’t for me. Ultimately, I would like to design a different type of implant – but it would absolutely still be a semi rigid. The AMS Spectra is quite hard, even with the dacron sheath over it. My dream implant would be a semi rigid that has more of a dense spongy feel to it, similar to true engorged erectile tissues – almost the exact same texture of the Carvings testicular implants. I’m not at all interested in a pump. The pump is a great option for some folks, but I want a device that fills out/utilizes the entire capacity of my penis, 100% of the time. I like that having a semi rigid means that I can have two testicular implants rather than one ball and the bulb of the pump on the other side with the inflatable. I like that the lifespan of a semi rigid far outlasts pumps and could potentially never need replacement. It feels more “set it and forget it” to me. I also like that the infection risk with the semi rigid is less than the pump. I should add that the lifespan and the infection risks are not what made me choose my device, I just see them as added benefits. If the tables were turned and the semi rigid had a shorter lifespan and higher infection rate I still would have chosen it because it meets my highest priority – which is a very specific kind of experience that I want to have with my penis. If you are having difficulty deciding between the pump or the semi rigid, my advice would be to find your absolute highest priorities and then look at which device comes closest to achieving those for you. When I asked Dr Chen: “which device is better?” he said: “It’s not really that one is better than the other. A better question is: which one makes you more excited to think about?”