Sex toys are more popular than ever before. The sex toy industry is booming, with 60 million toys sold every year, and in recent years, the sheer variety and innovation of the sex toy industry have significantly increased. More toys are available in stores and online than ever before, allowing people to purchase them discreetly and without difficulty.
Research on sex toy use is expanding as well. Scientists are studying how the use of sex toys can have a positive impact on sexual well-being and women’s orgasms. One study found that women who use vibrators have more intense orgasms and are more likely to orgasm multiple times. We know that women are more likely to use sex toys than men, and the most common toy used is a vibrator. Research also shows that nearly half of women have used a sex toy either with their partner or themselves.
There are a couple of things you may want to know to help guide your sex toy journey and make your self-pleasure experience even better.
First Things First: Ensure Your Sex Toy Is Body-Safe
There are thousands of sex toys on the market, but many are made with harmful materials. This is why it’s crucial to do your research so you can ensure you are buying a toy that is safe for your body. When buying a sex toy, you want to ensure it is made of nonporous material; this means that there are no microscopic holes in the material where bacteria can get trapped. Porous material traps bacteria, making it difficult to get the toy fully clean which means every time you use it, you may expose your genitals to harmful bacteria.
Porous materials to avoid:
- Jelly latex
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)
- Thermoplastic rubber (TPR)
These materials can also contain harmful plastics and chemicals that can be harmful to the genitals. So, it’s best to avoid them.
Instead, look for sex toys made of nonporous material, which include:
- ABS plastic
- Stainless steel
- Borosilicate glass
If it is your first time purchasing a sex toy, pure silicone may be your best bet. The material transmits vibration well, plus it is soft and easy to clean. If you are looking for a toy that has a bit of a cooling effect, stainless steel or glass is probably the material for you. If you are into sleek and stiff material, ABS plastic is the one for you.
Don’t know where to look? No need to worry – here’s a list of sex toy manufacturers that pride themselves on making body-safe toys for you to enjoy.
What Kind of Pleasure Suits You?
There are so many different types of sex toys that it can be hard to choose just one, especially if it is your first time purchasing a toy. The best way to figure out what sex toy is for you is to think about where you most enjoy being touched intimately and what brings you the most pleasure. Let’s break down six pleasure preferences and what toys are best suited for them.
External Clitoral Stimulation
This option is one of the most common for women, especially for those who are starting out with sex-toy use. Since most women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, getting a toy for clitoral stimulation can enhance self-masturbation or partner play. There are so many different types of sex toys intended for clitoral stimulation, but among the most common are vibrating bullets, wands, and palm vibrators.
Innovation in clit stimulation toys has skyrocketed in recent years, which has resulted in the production of toys like Eva, a hands-free vibrator that is intended to give you clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. Toys like Aer are another example of new clitoral stimulation toys, which are designed to create pulses of air that stimulate the clitoris.
Internal Vaginal Stimulation
If you are a fan of internal vaginal stimulation and want to buy a sex toy, first figure out whether you enjoy deep or shallow penetration. If you enjoy deep penetration, getting a dildo vibrator like the Jopen Amour Wand may be a good idea. These vibrators are typically made in the shape of a penis and are intended to give you pleasure similar to penetrative sex, with additional vibrations of course. If you enjoy a more shallow penetration, it may be a good idea to try out a G-spot stimulator.
Internal + External Vaginal Stimulation
If you like the best of both worlds, you may enjoy simultaneous internal vaginal and external clitoral stimulation. One of the most popular vibrators for G-spot stimulation and clitoral stimulation is the rabbit-style vibrator, which is made to stimulate the clit and G-spot simultaneously. A favorite high-tech toy is the Ose 2 from our friends at Lora DiCarlo, which arouses the G-spot and internal erogenous zones for a blended orgasm.
If you enjoy anal play or are curious to try it, there are a wide variety of toys available to choose from. There are two types of anal sex toys: anal plugs that typically stay in place or anal dildos that are meant to thrust in and out. If you are looking for an anal plug, you may want to try something like the Bump Vibrating Anal Plug. And if you like anal penetration, you may want to try an anal dildo.
- Important: Any toys used for anal play must have a flared base to avoid risking injury. Without a flared base, a toy can be sucked into your rectum and digestive tract. Additionally, since anal membranes are delicate, it is also important you use lots and lots of lubricant. Lastly, anything that touches your anus should not subsequently touch your vagina, or you could get a nasty infection.
Enjoy prostate play? Well, lucky for you there are a plethora of toys made for prostate stimulation. These toys are similar to anal plugs, but are designed specifically to stimulate the prostate. Luvoqa has a wide selection of prostate toys.
Last but not least, if you enjoy penis stimulation, then penis rings, vibrators, or sleeves may be for you. Penis rings are designed to constrict blood flow, which may result in a stronger erection and delayed orgasm. As You Like It has a wide variety of penis vibrators to choose from. For a sensation that more closely mimics sexual intercourse, consider trying a penis sleeve. They come in a variety of textures, sizes, and vibrating (or non-vibrating) options. Lelo offers a penis sleeve with multiple vibration settings and app-compatibility.
Not to worry, all of the products and lists we have linked are all body-safe.
There are so many sex toys available and some have more additional features than others. One common feature many desire is to have a waterproof toy for shower or bath play. However, some toys are marked as water-resistant and not waterproof; if you are planning on using your toys in the bath, ensure it is waterproof.
Some toys are app or remote-controlled, which is great for a hands-free experience. These toys are often rechargeable, rather than operated with batteries. App and remote-controlled options are often a bit pricier, so battery-operated may be the way to go if you are on a budget.
You may want to use lube with your sex toys as well. Using lubricant can definitely enhance the pleasure of your experience, but make sure you are using a lube that is compatible with your toy. Most toys will include information in the packaging about what lubes they are compatible with. Different materials call for different lubes. For example, silicone toys are often compatible with water-based lube.
Get Creative with Your Toy
Once you feel comfortable with your toy, there are countless ways to get a bit creative in the bedroom and try out your toy for more than its intended use.
Using a vibrator on other erogenous zones of the body besides your genitals can add to the excitement of self-pleasure. Using your vibrator on your neck, nipples, inner thigh, and more can make your experience much more pleasurable and arousing.
Experimenting with pressure and angles is the best way to figure out what is most pleasurable for you. Get curious about sex toy play and try testing out different things. You may use the toy in different ways to achieve certain sensations. Tapping or squeezing the vibrator against your body are two ways to experiment with your toy.
If your toy comes with multiple settings, try them all out and see what feels the best to you.
Tips for Including Your Partner in Sex-Toy Play
Introducing a sex toy to intimacy with your partner is a great way to spice things up and enhance the pleasure of the experience. Here are some tips for including your partner in toy play.
Make It a Fun Addition, Rather Than a Criticism
If you propose including a sex toy during sex with your partner, it may be likely that your partner will feel a bit insecure about the suggestion. Reassure your partner that you think it would be a fun and hot addition to your sex and that it has nothing to do with them lacking in any department.
Shop for a Sex Toy Together
Make getting a new sex toy(s) a joint effort. Browse websites or even visit a sex shop together to choose a toy. There are even sex kits that are made for couples that include toys intended to please both parties. Shopping for a toy together can build anticipation and excitement for toy use and intimate time together.
Encourage Your Partner Use a Sex Toy Themselves
If your partner is new to the use of sex toys, encourage them to try one out for themselves. This is why couples kits are a great option as it includes both of you getting toys you can use on yourselves or each other.
There is a huge variety of sex toys out there, so it is guaranteed you will find one that suits you. Don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment with yourself or your partner. Trying out a new sex toy or experimenting with your current one is a great way to enhance the pleasure of intimacy.
New York Post, “Women’s orgasms are literally worth billions.” March 2017.
N. Döring and S. Pöschl. “Sex toys, sex dolls, sex robots: Our under-researched bed-fellows” Sexologies, Volume 27, Issue 3, July–September 2018.
Clive M. Davis, Joani Blank, Hung-Yu Lin and Consuelo Bonillas. “Characteristics of Vibrator Use Among Women” The Journal of Sex Research, Vol. 33, No. 4 (1996).
“Sex Toys More Common in Women in Relationships” WebMD. Miranda Hitti. October 2004.