Sex toys have come a long way since the introduction of the ‘massager’. Now we have specialty toys for all genders, luxe toys, DIY toys, and all manner of play. Sex toys are a lot less of a taboo than they used to be. Just get on YouTube and search for sex toy reviews and you’ll find tons of them – which kinda gives you an idea of just how many people are open to not only owning one but also talking about owning one. My introduction to sex toys came from Sex and the City when Miranda talks about her Rabbit Vibrator. I promptly ordered my own and never turned back! I used my purple vibrator… Till. It. Broke. I’m not even kidding. #NoRegrets
If you’ve never owned a sex toy of your own but wish to get your first toy, it can be quite daunting trying to figure out what or which one to buy. Many toys don’t even look like a sex toy. Even I sometimes have a little trouble trying to figure out which one to get for myself, much less suggest one for someone else. Walking down row after row of toys in a sex shop is mind-boggling. What goes where, when, and WHY?
Some things that I personally practice when purchasing a new toy are:
Pick What You know
My interest is always piqued when a partner uses a new toy on me that I like. That’s like getting to try the product before purchasing. At times like these, I always ask what the toy is and where I can buy one of my very own – or at the very least buy one that is similar.
Go to a good sex shop
If you head to a shop that has attendants that know their stuff, that is half the battle won. In places like Good Vibrations everyone is knowledgeable and more than willing to help a newbie out.
I would never have bought the rabbit had Miranda not told me (in Sex and the City). And I have loved my purple toy since. So yeah, talk to your friends and see what works for them. Maybe it might work for you too, maybe not, but there is no harm in experimenting.
Find a good brand
I want something that I know is good, long lasting and made with materials that won’t harm me. So yeah, I do read the reviews, watch the videos and pick according to good recommendations and a good brand reputation. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive brand, just one that has a good rep.
But don’t just take my word for it. I reached out to the sex positive community on the interwebz and got some feedback from the pros on how to pick your first sex toy.
Read their tips on getting yourself a play toy:
“Can I be honest? I’d pick the Hitachi for both men and women.
“When picking a toy, I go for three things – strength of the toy (whether that be power of vibration or quality of material), cost effectiveness (I tend to prefer rechargeable or wall powered to batteries), and versatility. What I love about the Hitachi is how versatile it is. You can add various silicone attachments for insertion play, or put it against a clit or a pair of vulva lips or the glans or an asshole and it can be fun. Also, it’s a decent back massager!”
“The Betty Dodson vaginal barbell is the BEST! Although it says vaginal, it actually works amazingly well on the prostate and anally for women also. Easy to clean, sterilizable, lasts for life, it’s worth every cent and then some too! Match it with the Hitachi Magic Wand and you’re set for life for under $200!”
“Pick a toy that makes you excited. Don’t be shy or worried about why it excites you, just be explorative and have fun. Go into a sex shop and get your hands on the toys. Test how they buzz or move around and select according to your personal taste. Is your body sensitive? Or does it take a firmer touch to turn you on? With vibrators there’s everything from a gentle buzz to a thuddy purr. With dildos or butt plugs start small and work your way up.”
“It’s too easy to think of someone new to sex toys as naive, but the truth is just the opposite. While it might be someone’s first sex toy, it’s unlikely to be their first sexual dalliance. People know their own bodies and their own desires long before they choose to purchase their first sex toy, and as a result we shouldn’t necessarily believe that they will only want a tiny, buzzy little bullet vibe if they’re just starting out. There’s nothing to stop someone choosing an anal toy or a rabbit-style vibe as their first purchase, if that’s what their body is telling them that’s what it wants.
“That said, the sensations offered by sex toys may well be overwhelming at first, so it’s safest to choose a pleasure product with multiple settings and multiple purposes, so it can be used a number of different ways at different settings. At this stage in a sex toy user’s journey, it’s all about experimentation and pleasurable exploration. A product like LELO’s GIGI 2 provides exactly that versatility: it can tease or it can vibrate powerfully, and it’s just as good externally as internally.
“Similarly, men are welcome to make a prostate massager like BILLY their first purchase if they suspect that it’s something they want to try. But they should explore a vibrating ring like TOR 2 without question: the enhancement it offers to masturbation or sex is incredible and immediate.”
“When talking about sex toys, I often see the discussion focus simply on the aspect of pleasure that a specific toy is designed to provide and not, for instance, on how the toy acts as, say, an instrument in an orchestra of eroticism. A lot goes into creating the right moment for a toy to be effective and to elegantly integrate them into a sensual build. For instance, while the magic wand is the best selling vibrator and highly effective, it’s also a two-second orgasm and often too intense. When it works, it works wonders, but it’s problematic. And vibrators aren’t meant to just plop on the clitoris – they are instruments that can build towards an experience, but you have to have an idea of the experience you’re trying to create and that requires that you know what your partner likes or is open to.
“For me (and this is, in the end, a very personal question of preference), I like to combine toys and touch, activating different parts of the body and different senses, reserving the use of the toy until it is needed, wanted, and begged for.
“I might reach for her Mystic Wand and turn it on the lowest setting and move it close to her ear as I pet her pussy gently and repetitively. Now that the idea of using a toy has been introduced, it’s important (if you don’t already know what she likes and/or is open to) to be extremely attentive and, if any doubt exists, ASK if she likes what you’re doing.
“If she does like anal play, I will reach for her Pandora Vibrating anal plug and (again, well lubed) slip the plug into her ass and play with the intensity of vibration in her ass and on her clit. With a condom on, my cock will tease her pussy and I will move the tip of my cock slowly inside her as I move the vibrator around her clit. The unison of the anal plug, the slow penetration of the cock and the stimulation of the vibrator should be an ecstatic experience for the two of you.
“In short, I think of toys as ways of creating experiences. What those experiences are depends on the interests of you and your partner. So think of toys as part of the communication and growth process.”
“People’s sexualities are so different, so what’s best for me might not be best for you, so this isn’t so much what I recommend as it is my personal favorites. My top 5 desert island toys – meaning the ones I would absolutely have to have if I was stuck on a desert island – are:
- Hitachi – the lesbian grandmother of all vibrators. Because hey, if I’m going to have a vibrator, it may as well be the best. We’ll just have to pretend my desert island has power outlets.
- Silky aka Mr Bendy – best & only cock on the market that you can pack with, then fuck with. Not sterilizable (always use a condom). A little small for hours & hours of fucking, though, so I need an upgrade.
- Vixskin Maverick aka Rodeo Rick – The upgrade. This might be the most perfect cock ever made. (I do wish it had balls though … I think that’s the Bandit? But balls sometimes create distance between harness strap and my clit, which would make it harder for me to get off.) Silicone, realistic, excellent size.
- Spartacus harness – my current favorite. Simple, versatile, comfortable. I removed one of the two straps to make it a one-strap instead (which makes it easier for me to get off).
- Maximus lube – because my sex life is so cock-centric, and because I like to go for hours, lube is a necessity. Regardless of how wet she gets and stays, I use it, if only because then I won’t have to wonder or worry if she’s getting dryer. Maximus is thick, stays slick, comes in a pump bottle, is kind of gel-like and won’t slide around your hand while I’m getting it from the bottle to my cock.
“Aside from the Hitachi (and the lube), those are toys for partner sex; so I’d also add one bonus, which would be a very hard, g-spot curved insertable, either glass or metal (Pure Wand, maybe – I’d put the Pure Wand on there in a second, except I don’t actually own one).”
“When looking for your first sex toys, why pay money? There are plenty of ways to take pleasure for free by finding things in nature. For example, straddle the bath tub faucet and turn the water on, or play with the squirting shower hose, or take a carrot or zucchini out of the refrigerator. Many people have their first ‘sex toy’ experience with something in nature.
“The most important thing when using a sex toy is to be safe. NEVER put something in your anus that can get lost or risk doing something that could tear tissues. Ending up in the emergency room is so not sexy and very anti-climatic and can put a big damper on your sex life for years to come. Not worth the risks.
“As a person who cares about the environment, I’m concerned that there are far too many plastic toys that will never degrade and end up in landfills and the ocean. If you choose to get a plastic sex toy or two, keep the number limited. You don’t need ten of them! Every woman needs a good vibrator and there are many great ones to choose from. All you sexually active heterosexual single men who are dating, you should always have a couple of good vibrators on hand for pleasing women.
“When you go shopping for a dildo, if it smells kind of toxic, it probably is. Dildos are not regulated by the FDA, and toxic chemicals are a concern.
“Humans have used sex toys since the beginning of time, long before plastic and batteries. I personally love marble and ceramic dildos the best. There’s a myth that if dildo is cold, that’s a turn off. But actually cold or cool can be very exciting and stimulating. Natural products can be kinky too. Use a piece of wood for a paddle, or spank someone with a dozen roses with thorns, tease someone with stinging nettles! If you use your imagination, walking in the woods or in the desert, or on the beach can be just as exciting as shopping in a sex toy shop. I wish you lots of ecosexy fun!”