If you’re a person with a penis, there’s a decent chance you’ll experience erectile dysfunction.
The issue affects around 40% of guys by age 40, and around 70% of guys by age 70; it even shows up in younger guys, too. There are plenty of pills out there to safely treat ED, but if meds just ain’t your thing, you could always try putting a ring on it.
Which brings us to Giddy, a new wearable device that aims to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) without meds. Packaged in a mint-green box that says “yeehaw is my safeword,” Giddy—which launched Monday on Indiegogo—is the latest competitor on the increasingly-crowded playing field of men’s health startups.
“The best sex you’ve had in years is here,” the crowdfunding page promises. “No prescriptions. No side effects. No waiting.”
So what is Giddy, exactly?
Giddy is similar to a cock ring, except with a unique fit that keeps blood in your erect penis without compressing the arteries or the urethra. When blood flows to the “corpus cavernosa” in your penis—ie, when you get hard—the idea is that Giddy will help keep that blood where it needs to be. And because Giddy doesn’t constrict the urethra, there’s apparently no discomfort when you eventually come.
Here’s how Giddy’s urology advisor, Dr. Chris Kyle, MD, MPH, described it in an emailed statement to Men’s Health:
“An erection results when blood enters the penis and is prohibited from leaving. Giddy aids in this process by trapping the blood in the penis using constriction at the base of the penis, applying pressure only where blood leaves the penis rather than the entire penis, like conventional constriction devices.”
Here’s a video on how it works, in case you need a visual:
When you shell out $99 for Giddy, you also get access to a 30-day training program to help you treat your ED over time.
“The plan has exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor with Giddy, as well as content to help you understand what level of ED you have, what the possible causes could be and how to address those causes, and how to talk to your partner about ED,” CEO Erika Jensen said in an emailed statement.
Is Giddy a good idea?
“This is pretty unique,” Dr. Seth Cohen, MD, MPH, director of sexual medicine at NYU Langone Health, said in a phone call. (Cohen is not affiliated with Giddy.) “I like the concept that we’re not going to strangulate the urethra because we don’t want to affect ejaculation and the pee tube, but we do want to clamp down and hold blood in the penis.”
As for how well it’ll work, Cohen says it depends on the type of ED you’re dealing with. If your problem is venous leakage—in other words, you can get hard, but have trouble staying hard—then Giddy could help you maintain that erection. But if your arteries can’t get blood to your penis in the first place, you might have more of a challenge.
“The arterial problem will be more of an issue … If you can’t get it hard, Giddy or a cock ring won’t get it hard for you,” Cohen said. (For what it’s worth, Giddy promises a refund “if your ED hasn’t improved within 30 days.”)
Before you make any decisions about ED treatment options, it’s a good idea to run through your options with a healthcare provider. If you’re embarrassed to talk about it, well, don’t be; it’s more common than you think, and trust us—you’ll be happy you did something about it.