Josh Ortiz, aka “DadBodDom” of XR Brands, answers a female retailer’s question about assisting male customers.

Editor’s note: This new article series, authored by XR Brands’ Josh Ortiz, will help answer questions from retailers and customers. If you have a question you’d like to see featured in Dear DadBodDom, please send them via email to and you may see yours answered next!

(Note: This story appears in the April 2023 issue of SE Magazine

Q: Dear DadBodDom, Our store has recently started carrying urethral sounding rods. I honestly don’t know the logistics surrounding the activity to assist a customer with questions or make any meaningful suggestions. I am not a penis owner, and this is one question I can’t ‘fake it till I make it’ because I legitimately don’t understand and it makes me feel like a novice. Can you explain sounding in a way I can train myself and my staff to better support our customers? 

— Sounding Scaredy Kitty Owner 

A: Sounding was originally a medical practice used to help stretch (aka dilate) the urethra, allowing clear access to and from the bladder. During any form of bladder, penile, or urethral surgery, a stricture — or a tightening and narrowing of the scar tissue band — can form. Think of a stricture similarly to trying to get liquid through a straw or hose that has one of those little orthodontic rubber bands we used to wear on braces wrapped tight around it; it can make it very uncomfortable to pee or have sex and ejaculate — basically moving fluids through becomes a whole ordeal. By inserting something into the urethra, repetitively, it helps dilate and restores the normal flow of pee.

If you’re peeing and ejaculating just fine, why the hell would you shove something down a perfectly good penis hole? Because. It. Feels. Fantastic. 

The skin of the urethra and the skin of the vaginal canal are pretty close to identical. Obviously the vaginal tissue is mucosal (self-wetting), and the urethra is not. That is where the sensation differences end. The pleasure sensors and nerve layouts that travel deep within the canal of the vagina are very similarly laid out deep within the urethra of the penis. That’s a long and fancy way of saying it feels an awful lot alike — on a tighter/smaller scale. 

But why? There are a few reasons I guarantee will make sense once you really think about it for a second: the sensation of anterior fullness; prostate stimulation and vibration.

For a vulva-owning sales associate, I can see how it could still be difficult to embrace, so let’s picture this: you’re actively being penetrated by something of larger girth and length than a finger, and it feels sooo good, but now you have to pee. Every time that thing hits your cervix with a full bladder, it’s a pang of pain, pleasure, and pressure. That’s exactly what sounding feels like — being penetrated with a full bladder. See? Not so terrifying!

When we combine all of these sensations, the possibilities for pleasure are truly boundless! There are definitely some safety things you want to mention to every customer — no matter how well versed they seem. It doesn’t have to be a patronizing conversation as much as just drawing out your POS transaction for a couple of extra moments. 

Lube, lube and then? Lube again!

Help your customers pick the right lube for this activity. It is so important and honestly the make or break for a pleasant experience. Encourage them to use more lube than they may think is necessary, similar to the advice we give folks attempting their first go at anal sex.

Silicone lube is oil-based and not the easiest to pee out after the act. Water-based lube is fantastic for peeing out when done, but if one is using a silicone sounding rod, they will have to reapply. I’ve found that a good hybrid lubricant maintains the slippery feel we are accustomed to with silicone, while being far easier to break down in the urethra and pee out after sounding. 

If you are selling metal sounding rods that do not have a bumper, ring or stopper on the end (which are super popular), advise your customer to wrap a fabric Band-Aid around the point that they do not want to go past. We can tell our customers to leave a dry hand all day, but if they are actively applying lube to a rod in their penis, while holding said penis, there’s no third hand. Wrapping a fabric Band-Aid around the point they don’t want to pass allows for a soft catch on the urethral opening if it slips, rather than sliding all the way in.

One’s fully erect penis would need to be longer than the rod inside it for the rod to slip out of sight. This is not going to be a concern for every user. The good news is that your urethra is not your butt. If you lose something rectally? I’ll light a candle for you. If something slips out of sight in the urethra, there’s nowhere for it to go. Advise penis owners to pee like they have a kidney stone or a UTI – that real hard push to pee, and it will come out like a lil snake to its charmer. Terrible? I agree, so tell them all!

The way we approach new things, especially with sex, should always be informed. — TDBD

**If you have a question you’d like to see featured in Dear DadBodDom, please send them via email to and you may see yours answered next!**

Josh is a Sex Educator & Brand Ambassador in the pleasure product industry.