A Beginner’s Guide to Sex Toys
Buying a sex toy is fun, sexy, and shows that you’re prioritizing pleasure for yourself and your partners. But it can also be intimidating, with dozens of styles, and literally thousands of models to choose from.
There is no ‘right’ way to choose your first sex toy, it’s a process. Start by considering who you’re using it with, and what sensations you and your partners already enjoy. Then, like an erogenous Marie Kondo, ask yourself, will this toy spark that joy? If not, find one that will!
Sex toys increase pleasure by bringing in novel forms of stimulation that go beyond fingers, tongues, and more. Once relegated to the back of nightstands, there’s been a toy renaissance over the last few years as people have begun to own their sexuality.
Forget about hiding them inside a drawer, modern toys are sleek enough to display. There are elegant rose-gold bullets, handsome prostate massagers that beg to be touched and discrete couples’ massagers that slip effortlessly in between bodies or in panties.
Toys are never about replacing another person, they’re about enhancing an experience. They’re a portal to passion, helping find new ways to turn yourselves on and get yourselves off. And when used with a partner, they’ve been proven to almost instantly increase communication and sexual satisfaction.
It’s important to buy safe sex toys. The industry is largely unregulated, and cheaper products are often made with hazardous materials like PVC plastics and phthalates. Over time, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria, break apart, and leak chemicals into your body. Buy your products from trusted sources, like Lickerish Love, and look for nonporous materials like medical-grade silicone, glass, and stainless steel. They’re easy to clean and they’ll last for years. We recommend toy cleaners with bacteria fighting agents like the Before & After Toy Cleaner and Sliquid Shine.
Lube is the secret to great play. It reduces friction and is oh-so-fun to apply. Be generous with it, especially when it comes to anal. We recommend staying away from oil-based lubricants, because they’re messy, irritating and not condom safe. Instead, try water or silicone-based lubes. Water-based is the most versatile and can be used with condoms and silicone toys. It won’t stain your sheets and is easy to clean up. Silicone-based lubes are luxurious, long-lasting and waterproof – but will ruin a silicone toy. Intimate Earth lubes are great for all kinds of play. They have flavored ones for oral, and a special anal lube with bisabolo extract to help relax the muscles.
Use external vibrators all over the body, and have fun finding new places to tease, like nipples, vulvas and around the penis head. The Iconic Bullet is perfect for first-timers, delivering powerful vibrations and climaxes through external play. Their small size makes them portable for play and delivers precise stimulation, and it’s easy to slide over your clitoris or perineum while being penetrated. If the tip is too intense, you can hold it horizontally to stimulate a broader area. These aren’t recommended for penetration.
Anal beads are perfect for beginners because they offer different sizes to play with, which help stretch out the sphincter muscles. Slowly insert and pull them out to tease the sensitive nerve endings around the anus. If you get vibrating beads, like the B-Vibe Cinco, you and your partners can enjoy the sensations too. As with any anal play, you’ll want to be very generous with lube and take your time.
If you love penetration, G-spot vibrators are a fun way to achieve orgasm for vulva owners. Unlike bullets, they’re designed to go inside you, and are specially curved to hit the elusive G-spot (and they work like regular vibrators too, so you can still use it on your clitoris or anywhere else that feels good). Try using it while getting head or being taken from behind for an incredible vaginal orgasm.
Dildos can be used anally, orally or vaginally. They come in almost every shape and style imaginable, from ultra-realistic to sleek and modern, and everything in between. The Bouncer is a good starter toy, because it has an approachable design with a surprising addition – each ridge has a rotating ball which responds to your motions. It is harness compatible for pegging or strap on fun, and it can also stick to smooth surfaces so you have multiple ways to play. Try attaching it to a shower tile, so you can please yourself and your partner at the same time.
For a more long-lasting feeling of fullness, plugs are a great option. Vibrating plugs can deliver powerful P-spot, or prostate, orgasms during play. A weighted plug, like the Snug Plug is comfortable and discrete, so you can wear it during sex, or while running errands. No one will ever know, and sometimes, that makes it even hotter.
Prostates are basically the male equivalent of a G-spot. It’s a small, walnut-sized organ that is full of nerve endings. Treat it right, and it delivers powerful, waves of full body orgasms. The Hugo is a great option, because it also has a secondary motor that can stimulate the perineum, and it’s remote controlled for fun partner play.
The technology of men’s sex toys has come a long way lately, and nothing proves that as much as the futuristic Flip Hole by Tenga. Between squeezing, ribbing, rotating and pulsing, it stimulates every inch of the shaft and the head. Combine it with a strip tease or rim job for a totally mind-blowing climax.
If you’re curious about adding a new toy to your couples’ collection, consider a cock ring like the Pivot by We-Vibe. Made of soft silicone, this vibrating ring slips over penis, slightly restricting the blood flow to allow for longer, harder erections. The motor can supply orgasmic vibrations to the clitoris or the anus depending on your play.
If you want to add a dimension of kink or power play to your sex, you don’t have to go full 50 Shades. Start off slowly by adding a few restraints to your toy chest. A simple Leather Buckle Blindfold or pair of Mink Faux Fur Handcuffs can instantly upgrade vanilla sex, by putting one partner at the mercy of another. By removing the ability to see or move, you can tease and tantalize all you want. Try experimenting with textures, temperatures and toys until they’re begging for a release.