The 10 Worst Products For Men Ever Created

by Brett and Kate McKay on February 27, 2008 · 126 comments

in Diversions, Travel & Leisure


While much has been said about the way advertisers have always hawked their products to women by playing on their insecurities, men have not been immune from similar pitches. While they may worry less about crow’s feet than ladies do, there are still some things that make men feel insecure. Hoping to capitalize on these insecurities, some downright wacky products have been sold.
Here are the top 10 worst products ever made for men:

Products for Hair Loss

The telltale signs of shedding hair in the sink can worry even the most self-assured of men. Companies have long recognized this and marketed hundreds of different products to stop, slow, or cover thinning hair. From hair plugs to toupees, none of them truly achieved the desired effect. Here are some of the worst hair loss products ever invented:

Hair in an Aerosol Can


The “spray” from this can is actually made of tiny fibers that stick to your head and hair. Just spray it all over and-poof!-thinning hair is thick and full and bald spots are gone.

The idea behind the spray is to help insecure balding men feel more confident. But can there be anything more confidence-sapping than having to worry that a spontaneous swim, rainstorm, or excessive sweating will melt your hair off?

Crosely Xervac Head Vacuum


This large device (which you could rent for home use) operated on the principle that sucking more blood into your scalp area would make hair grow healthy and strong and prevent it from falling out. A hose attached to a skull cap surrounded your head with suction power. This reminds me of Garth using the Suck-Cut on Wayne‘s World. “It’s sucking my will to live, man!”

Chest Hair Toupee


While some men shave or laser their chest to achieve a smooth, hairless look, other, naturally smooth chested men, pine for a manly carpet of chair. For these men, the chest hair toupee was invented. Available in black, brown, or gray, these chest pieces are made of real human hair. How do you even apply this thing? Glue? Tape? At any rate it is perfect for its target audience: middle-age men who like to wear halfway unbuttoned Hawaiian shirts and yet are lacking the tuft of hair sticking out that is necessary to complement their gold chain necklaces.

Products for the Prostate

Another area in which many men feel insecure is their sexual prowess. Some of the wackiest inventions ever made were designed to help the male libido.

The Prostate Warmer


Invented in 1918, this device promised to “stimulate the abdominal brain!” (I am not sure what that is, although men have long been accused of thinking with it). The device consisted of a 4.25 inch probe which was plugged into the wall and then inserted into the rectum. When plugged in, a blue light bulb lit up to tell you it was working to restore your manly vitality. Brings new meaning to the phrase “blue light special.”

Radioactive Jockstrap

Radioactive materials were once thought to impart healing and vitalizing powers to people. Radium was infused into drinking water, baths, and even suppositories. Perhaps the scariest way it was administered was through a radioactive jockstrap for men. ”Weak Discouraged Men!” one advertisement proclaimed. ”Now Bubble Over with Joyous Vitality Through the Use of Glands and Radium.” Joyous Vitality�..and glow in the dark junk.

Recto Rotor


This dilator promised to cure “piles, constipation, and prostrate problems.” It was designed to break up, your, um, “piles” and to lubricate the rectum. The tip had holes in it through which ointment could be released. How it was supposed to cure your prostate problems can only be imagined. But with a motto like “large enough to be efficient, small enough for anyone over 15 years old,” how could you go wrong?

Heidelberg Electric Belt


In the early 1900′s many people believed they were suffering from “neurasthenia,” a disease cause by modernization and over-stimulation. This “sickness” produced a wide variety of symptoms from depression to impotency to fatigue. The Heidelberg electric belt, touted as a cure, sent electricity to your genitals and promised to restore your vitality and strength. Ouch.

Anti-Self Pollution Devices

During the 1800′s and early 1900′s, extreme measures were recommended to control the sexual libido of young men. Several devices were invented to prevent men from masturbating. Here at the Art of Manliness we support self-discipline and harnessing the male libido, but genital mutilation is definitely not the way to do it.

Spike lined ring


This device was aimed not only at preventing masturbation, but nocturnal emissions as well. Young men would tie this ring of death around their member, and whenever they became aroused, the spikes would sink into their flesh, causing excruciating pain.

Spermatic Truss


The spermatic truss, patented in 1876, was designed to make erections impossible by binding the genitalia down. 21 years later, the designer changed the truss a bit, making erections possible. The only downside? An erection would now drive the genitalia against painful spikes.

The Timely Warning


Invented by Frank Orth in 1893, The Timely Warning was a penis cooling apparatus designed to prevent wet dreams. A man would attach the device to his penis before he went to bed. When an erection occurred during the night, levers opened to allow cold water to flow through tubes around the genitalia. This cooled “the organ of generation, so that the erection subsides and no discharge occurs.” Basically, it was like taking a cold shower, but without the shower.

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Greg Dimond May 21, 2013 at 11:45 am

Can we add cargo shorts to the list of worst products developed for men? It’s such a lazy fashion choice of men to make. We can do better.

102 damien June 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

i was shocked and dismayed to see that you failed to include “fanny packs” in this list…

103 shayne June 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm

damien… I am fairly certain that the fanny pack was designed specifically to carry some of these later devices.

104 Josh Brancek July 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

OMG, that Chest Hair Toupee looks really baaaad!!!

105 ttopher July 15, 2013 at 2:47 am

Maybe it’s just me, the ‘prostate warmer’ and ‘recto rotor’ were particularly disturbing. The ‘warmer’ was a blue light-bulb, for heaven’s sake! Up your bum?

106 john giddiens August 6, 2013 at 7:42 am

Magic shave has to be in there..fart odored powder with acids that melt the hair off your face and really don’t work.

107 Joseph August 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm

OMG, the recto rotor?! My sphincter just sealed itself shut! And that prostate warmer looks like a string of christmas lights with a soldering iron. You light up like a christmas tree when you “stimulate the abdominal brain”! Wow, what great marketing it must be to entice men to buy.

108 Ken Ross August 10, 2013 at 6:44 am

ttopher, take a closer look. It would appear that the Prostate Warmer’s bulb remains outside (let us give thanks). The “business end” of the device is visible in the picture’s upper right quadrant.

109 Mason August 14, 2013 at 1:24 am

I’m so scared. The list started out funny and kinda goofy. Then it took a turn. A dark dark turn intoba very bad place. How can you even…. No …. Just no.. please dear sweet merciful God NO!

110 Josh August 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I’ve always found good eating and physical conditioning to be better alternatives then an iron maiden for the member… yikes….

111 Stacy September 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm

God intended my butt to do one thing and one thing only, evacuate! No blue light specials for me thank you!

112 Misha Gnirrep October 3, 2013 at 8:35 am

Not even Axe deodorant?

113 Andy October 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

The razor.

Lock. Thread.

114 Melissa November 8, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Thanks to Misha for mentioning the Axe deodorant! What a horrible smell!! MANY men smell as bad as old ladies…’s deodorant and body products are just as overpowering as old lady perfume and just as hard to be around.
Women like the smell of a clean man not a perfumed one. Use sensible, quiet soap and body products that don’t overpower everyone around you. This is more manly and thus more attractive.

115 Christophe Lowette December 8, 2013 at 2:31 pm

@ ttopher:

If I am not mistaken the light bulbs work as a resistor so you don’t boil your intestines using it.

116 Joshua Jordan, KSC December 15, 2013 at 3:42 am


If you’re losing your hair ,live with it. Be a Phoenix and be unchanged by it and wear the power doughnut, or if you’re a bit more antifragile wear a hat! Hats are out of style; get a nice one. Don’t wear this ghetto sport hat bs.. Get a decent hat and use your imagination.

Most of this other crap are thinly disguised sex toys or device for masochists. I used to think the companies that made these were stupid, but I realize most men are pansies. I see why, it’s part of tribe dynamics, but I don’t respect most males as men.

Male and female is a sex, a scientific designation. Man and woman are gender roles and these are fictitious, social constructs like ethnicity. If we were really dissimilar, we would not be able to breed; so we are not of different “races”. We are the same “race” and “ethnicity” is another fictitious construct.

If you disagree, read some sociology text books and some relevant science.

117 Steven D January 6, 2014 at 11:29 pm

To be fair, wet dreams or “nocturnal emissions” have got to be the most annoying thing ever. I have a touch of obsessive compulsiveness, so that may be what accounts for this attitude toward an otherwise pleasurable thing. It’s just the getting up in the middle of the night with, you know, “emissions” everywhere and all over the place; what’s a man to do, leave it there? No, you’ve got to get up, clean up, put on some clean underwear, change the bedding perhaps – depending upon the size and seriousness of aforementioned “emissions.” But does this inconvenience require spiked rings or water-cooling a man’s member? No, and certainly not the former… yikes!

118 Anthony January 8, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I wonder what kind of things will be on list like this from our era 100 years from now …

119 T.C. January 9, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I nominate the mandell as my top choice God do they just look bad.

120 Don February 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

The prostate warmer kind of just looks like a very uncomfortable lamp.

121 Andrew February 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm

omg i had a sick feeling after i got to Recto Rotor. Guess that’d be a solid b-day present for someone

122 Wolfy April 5, 2014 at 10:02 am

The prostate warmer seems an ideal gift for the man (and we all know at least one) who firmly believes that the sun rises and sets in his ass.

123 Brent April 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

A response to Damien – and likely others:

Some of you are going to hate me for saying this, but fanny packs are pretty great, especially if you have back problems and need to carry your wallet around rather than carrying it in your front or back pockets, where sitting on it can shift one’s spine into problems. Of course, I think they’re great even w/o back problems, just so long as they aren’t girly looking. They need to be manly and made of dark leather or military canvas, which should go w/o saying. Now, that male purse, or murse, you carry around your shoulder is just… wrong. No arguments, there.

Now, if you believe it’s cooler to carry your wallet in one pocket and your smartphone in another, and car keys in a third pocket, then go for it. I. personally, hate three of my four pockets filled up with sh!t. To me, that ain’t cool. Never was-never will be.

Love this site!

Side note: Who the heck thought the top 100 books, and top 100 movies that all men to should read and watch, respectively, was credible? As my gf stated: ‘Clearly, some woman put those lists together.’ For she disagreed, as I did, on more than a few.

Recommendation to this site: Allow us men to submit our own lists and pick the most chosen to be made into the AofM’s top 100 list of movies and books. Makes more sense to me.

Thanks for letting me take the time to comment. Everyone have a great week.

124 Esteban Guitierrez April 22, 2014 at 5:35 am

Underwear with metal zippers on the front.

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