When it comes to most activities in life, the right tools can help you get there, and then some. That’s especially true for sex.
Whether you’re looking to have fun on your own, or with others, the right sex toys can help amplify pleasure and reintroduce a bit of curiosity and novelty into the bedroom. We don’t have to tell you all the benefits of an orgasm!
Sex toys are fast becoming household staples, and why not? The 21st century has brought us plenty of life-changing tech and the same goes for adult toys.
If you’re new to the sex toy scene or just looking to learn more, then keep on reading! In this complete guide to sex toys, we talk about:
- finding a suitable toy for you
- avoiding what’s wrong for you
- which toys we recommend
- how to store and clean those prized possessions
- best practice tips
Before you get down and dirty, get educated!
What to look for (or look OUT for) when finding the right toy
You’re not alone on your search for the perfect sex toy. In fact, 50% of women start using sex toys in their 20s!
To figure out the best toy for you, identify and isolate what you’re trying to do with your sex toy. For example, are you looking to stimulate a specific body part, treat yourself – or your partner? Perhaps you’re looking for something to enhance how you already have sex or something utterly new to spice things up.
Once you’ve got an idea in your head of what you’re looking for, you can begin to decide on the sex toy that will help you reach your sexy goals.
If you want…
Vibrators of all kinds, especially wands, and bullets, are perfect for externally stimulating the clitoris. For those who are ultra sensitive, there are now toys that stimulate the clitoris via pulsation, and air (i.e. The Womanizer).
Penetrative (vaginal, or G-spot) stimulation
Dildos, and classic vibrators can be used to penetrate and stimulate from the inside, out. There are G-spot specific vibrators and dildos that are less ‘real-feel’ and more so designed to reach that special place.
Both clitoral and vaginal
Why not have the best of both worlds?
Rabbit-style vibrators have both an internal penetrative component and an external clitoral stimulator. Make sure whichever dual-stimulation toy you purchase has a clitoral stimulator that works for you and your body. Clitoral stimulators that are soft and flexible work best as they adapt to your shape and movement.
Fleshlights, sex dolls, and real-feel butts, boobs, and dildos, are all great sex toy options for those who want to get closer to the real experience.
The elusive prostate is well worth a tickle. If you’re looking for a mind-blowing sensation, then make sure to keep a prostate massager in your sex toy arsenal.
Improve penetrative sex
If you’re looking to enhance the sex you’re already having, try cock rings (especially the vibrating kind) and other aforementioned masturbating toys that you can use on each other or mutually. If you want to spice things up, try getting kinky with tickling feathers, handcuffs, whips, and blindfolds.
After deciding on what type of toy you want, consider other variables, such as:
- whether the toy is discreet, mobile, or accessible
- level of maintenance
You should be thinking about whether you have any allergies, whether you want a lifelike feel, how bothered you are with sanitizing your toys, and how much money you’re willing to spend on maintenance.
Toys usually come in four different materials: silicone, rubber/jelly, glass, and stainless steel.
- stainless steel
Here are some pros and cons to each:
Most modern sex toys are made of silicone, and that’s a good thing. It has a soft, skin-like feel and provides flexibility – making it a suitable material for intimate toys. It’s generally safe (make sure you stick to 100% silicone, though), easy to clean, and not porous – so it won’t absorb any chemicals or bacteria over time. While silicone is an excellent material to look out for when buying toys, remember that high-quality silicone products are costly.
Also, make sure to use, clean, and store your silicone toys properly – as they’re fairly easy to disfigure. Silicone lubes will cause them to melt, and storing them with other silicone toys will result in the same issue. Keep them out of the dishwasher and boiling water, as silicone toys will also melt at high temperatures.
Rubber / Plastic Jelly
Rubber and plastic jelly toys are often what inexpensive dildos are made of. Rubber can produce a massive variety of textured feels, colors, and shapes –making it an easy choice for dildos.
However, even though you save some cash, rubber and plastic jelly toys do have quite a few downsides. They’re often made of a mix of plastics and chemicals, meaning they can easily irritate the skin. Rubber is also a porous material, making it more susceptible to bacterial biofilms, and more likely to absorb harmful chemicals or unpleasant odors.
You should try to use condoms with rubber toys for this very reason. Because they are porous, rubber toys often have a much shorter shelf life, so it might be better to invest in a high-quality material for the long term.
Glass toys, while fragile, a bit heavier, and less discreet, are great for penetrative play. They retain heat, making them pleasurable to use over time, or for use with temperature play specifically.
Glass is, of course, non-porous, making it more hygienic, long-lasting, and easy to sanitize. Glass can be used with any type of lube, but keep in mind that using silicone lube with glass results in an oil slick of a situation – but hey, whatever floats your boat. Keep glass toys out of the dishwasher, and extremely hot water, as high temperatures can disfigure them.
Also, keep in mind that exposing your glass to extremes of cold, then hot, can result in fractures. As soon as your glass toy has a fracture, it is no longer safe to use.
Stainless steel can make any toy feel futuristic, and to be honest – quite kinky. Nonporous, durable, and temperature-sensitive, stainless steel is a choice material for penetrative or massaging toys. Try cooling your stainless steel toys in the fridge for an exciting sensation!
While stainless steel toys are almost impossible to break, they are expensive and can be a bit too heavy to lug around for a weekend getaway.
Are you going to be traveling with your toy? Will you be storing your toy in a home with nosey family members or roommates? Do you have any wrist issues or arthritis that might make it difficult to hold and manipulate a toy for minutes (or perhaps, hours) on end?
How easy does your toy need to be to operate? These are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself before committing to any sex toy purchase.
Want to be discreet?
Go for small toys that you can carry around in your purse or pocket. Bullet vibes, for example, are effective at clitoral stimulation, incredibly mobile, and most importantly – won’t raise any eyebrows if spotted.
Something else to consider down the line is how you clean and store your toy (if you’d like to keep things under the radar), but we’ll cover that further down.
Need something accessible?
If full wrist motion, and using your hands for long periods of time will be uncomfortable, or inaccessible to you, try using toys with more ergonomic handles or hands-free toys.
Some toys, like rubber dildos, can be incredibly taxing on the wrist and arm as they require more control. However, something like a wand, with an extended handle, will be much easier to use.
If you’ve got impaired eyesight, as well, you may want to make sure that your desired toy has obvious operating buttons, lights, etc – or better yet, an easy-to-use smartphone app!
Our Favorite Sex Toys
Still not sure on which toy will work best for you? Luckily, the adult toy industry is as booming as ever – and there are all types of toys to recommend. Here are some of our favorites for everybody.
The Magic Wand
Great for: customizable clitoral stimulation
This massager turned clitoral vibrator is a classic favorite. With a long handle and a vibrating silicone head with full rotation, the Magic Wand delivers clitoral pleasure you’ve never imagined.
It’s also quite ergonomic, with an extended handle that allows you to manipulate the head without having to reach and stretch. The vibrating, soft silicone head, has a full range of motion, always finding exactly the right spot without much effort.
If you’re looking for direct clitoral stimulation, the Magic Wand is the way to go. We haven’t come across a dissenter yet.
Great for: indirect clitoral stimulation
Are you looking for clitoral stimulation that’s gentle, indirect, and building? Try the Womanizer, the only toy on the market using a feature called ‘PleasureAir.’
The Womanizer gently sucks the clitoris into a soft silicone tip, where it’s exposed to gentle pressure waves. Delivering indirect, mind-blowing pleasure. Never be uncomfortable, or over-stimulated again with this unique technology!
If you know the discomfort of an oversensitive clitoris all too well, then the Womanizer is definitely for you.
Nova by WeVibe
Great for: dual stimulation
If you’re looking for dual stimulation; both clitoral, and vaginal, then look no further than the Nova by WeVibe. Nova stimulates the G-spot while the external clitoral stimulator flexes to gently vibrate against you no matter how you move.
Hook your smartphone up with the Nova app to choose from 10 different vibration modes to find the one that works for you, and your body.
Mio Ring by Je Joue
Great for: enhancing partnered sex
The Mio Ring is a fun, shareable, discreet, and small vibe. It’s perfect for bringing on trips or carrying around daily – just in case the mood for fun strikes you.
The Mio Ring is a wearable vibe made of soft silicone. You can use it on any body part, wherever a bit of stimulation might feel great at the moment. Because it’s so versatile, it’s perfect for playing with others. Just make sure to wipe it down between swaps!
B-Vibe Rimming Plug
Great for: anal stimulation
The B-Vibe is the first plug engineered to create a rimming sensation using rotating beads beneath its surface. With a soft silicone body and six levels of vibration intensity, the B-Vibe Rimming Plug is a one-of-a-kind anal stimulator, perfect for anyone who loves a rimming sensation.
Helix SYN by Aneros
Great for: prostate massaging
Massage your prostate and experience an explosion of pleasure with the Helix SYN. Covered in velvet-touch silicone, and embodied by a rigid frame, the Helix SYN is designed specifically to hit the right spot in just the right way.
A perfect anatomical fit for most, the Helix SYN is a prostate godsend for beginners and the advanced. This toy is a no fuss, hands-free way to experience the insurmountable pleasure that is prostate stimulation.
How to Keep and Clean Your Toys
Not necessarily the sexiest part of using sex toys – but inarguably, the most critical part – is hygiene.
Sex toys get exposed to some very sensitive places and can quickly spread disease, and bacteria, if not cared for correctly. There is a right kind of dirty in the bedroom, and then there’s the wrong kind of dirty.
Sex toys that don’t get washed or stored can form a biofilm of nasty bacteria that can cause all sorts of discomfort, and worse, serious health complications. Learning the right way to keep your sex toy or dildo clean is imperative!
Effectively storing your toys can also save you face if you share a household with family, kids, or roommates. When you know how to store your toy, depending on what it’s made of, you can also avoid breaking it, which is probably important to you if you’ve spent quite a bit of cash.
If you’re welcoming a sex toy into your life, like a pet, it needs to be bathed, and put to bed. Let’s cover some of your cleaning and storage options!
A simple method of sanitizing your sex toys is to give them a good scrub in the kitchen sink. Alcohols and strong disinfecting detergents might be tempting when you’re thinking of that potential biofilm – but step away from the harsh chemicals!
Remember that your sex toy is used on sensitive, intimate areas and shouldn’t be exposed to any chemicals that might cause you issues. Use fragrance-free gentle soaps, or better yet, get a cleanser specific for use with sex toys.
Some toys can be washed in the dishwasher! Nothing’s as easy as throwing your dildo into a dishwasher and grabbing it after a cycle.
The shortcoming of a dishwasher is that it very easily ruins certain toys. If your toy is made of a silicone or glass, for example, the heat of the dishwasher may warp it. Check the fine print of your sex toy before throwing it in with the bowls and utensils.
The UVee – Storage AND Sanitization
It’s 2017, so you better believe there’s a hi-tech solution for keeping your toy clean! UV-C light can kill 99.9% of bacteria regardless of your toy’s shape, material, or function. There’s a storage and sanitization solution for sex toys called a UVee, which safely stores your toy in a locked box and sanitizes it using UV-C light.
It’s also got charging capability – meaning you can lock away your toy, have it cleaned, charged and ready to go in just 5-10 minutes. This is a new cleaning (and storing) method that we are nuts about!
For the lazy amongst us, the UVee is a total godsend. There’s nothing less appealing than hand washing your toys after a play sesh, but with the UVee handily within arm’s reach, you can roll over in bed, plug and store your vibrator in the UVee, and simply set and forget – now there’s an infomercial we’d like to see.
Drawer and Silk/Satin Baggie
If you’ve not got a futuristic sanitization and storage item like the UVee, you can store away your toys in a drawer. However, it’s important to note your toys’ material. Certain materials react with others, which could leave you with an assortment of dildos that have melted into shapeless blobs.
It’s safer, and more hygienic, to keep your toys individually bagged. As for what type of bag; avoid plastic bags, as harmful chemicals can leach into your porous toys over time. Go for a satin or silk bag, which will protect your toy while giving it room to breathe.
Lastly, if storing your toy in the drawer, always clean it before doing so. Putting away a dirty toy into your drawer will likely result in a bacterial biofilm forming, and nobody wants that!
Best Practice Tips for Sex Toys
We’ve talked about finding the perfect toy for you, how to clean it, and how to store it. Now it’s time for the fun part: our tips for getting the most out of your experience with your toy. It’s one thing to simply plug and play, but it’s an art to maximize your pleasure, and land some mind-blowing, life-changing orgasms with your toy of choice.
Tip #1: Lubricate, lubricate, lubricate
Whether you’re stimulating externally, or internally, everyone’s bits need a bit of slip and slide to ensure comfort, and increase sensitivity.
Avoid oil-based lubes. These react poorly to many toy materials and could damage them. Water-based lubes are best, while silicone lubes are unsafe to use with silicone toys. Lube is definitely a must use with toys. It eases friction, making your play sesh more fun and less chafey.
Spit makes a great on-the-go, last-minute lube alternative, and is totally free. Whatever you’re lubin’ up with, just make sure you’re doing it; your sex toy will feel all the better for it.
Tip #2: When sharing, use condoms, or cleansing wipes
Sometimes, the best part about having a toy is getting to share it with someone special. If you’re sharing a toy during a single session, make sure to clean your toy between uses. We get it, it’s not easy to pull yourself away from the action to do a bit of dildo washing in the kitchen sink, but with consequences as dire as STDs, it’s worth it.
Of course, there are a couple of alternatives: you could use condoms between uses, ensuring that your toy stays clean. There are also quicker methods for cleaning your toy mid-act. Sex toy specific cleansing wipes work well. Better yet, something like the UVee, which charges while it disinfects, is perfect for when you have minutes to spare.
Tip #3: Know how to tell when the fun is over
Nothing lasts forever, and when it comes to well-loved toys, it’s important to tell when they’ve passed their use-by date.
Look out for louder than usual whirring in motor toys, seams that have come loose on battery-operated toys (they’re no longer waterproof, and therefore not safe to use!), toys that won’t charge properly anymore, and pockmarks on silicone toys, and fractures in glass ones. If you’ve noticed any of these telltale signs, it’s time to swap your toy for a new one!
Adult toys enhance any play session. Whether you’re going solo or sharing the experience, they quickly become important possessions once they’re in your sexy times toolkit.
If you’re a newbie looking to dive into the world of adult play, then we hope our guide has helped you decide on what toy you want, and how best to use and take care of it. Or if you’re a sex toy veteran, we hope we’ve helped shed light on some of the lesser-known maintenance tips you may not have come across yet.
The most important thing is that you’re all out there having amazing orgasms, and we trust that our guide will help you reach that goal in no time.