If you need a little extra stimulation to reach orgasm, you’re not alone. Surveys have shown that, at least in the US, a majority of women own and use sex toys. But if you’ve never bought one before, shopping can be a little bit intimidating. Between dodgy sex shops littered all over the city, a huge variety of products, and social stigma and it can be hard to know what’s going to work for you.
List what’s most important
Now, my inner geek is about to come out: I suggest you make a little list of what’s most important to you before looking to buy. Otherwise, the sheer number of products is going to be overwhelming. Are you looking for a clitoral vibrator? A G-spot dildo? Something that can be used internally and externally? Do you want something soft and squishy, or maybe something lifelike? Are you looking for something that you can use with a partner?
Budget? No problem.
If budget is a concern for you, it’s important to also have some material knowledge. Pure silicone and hard ABS plastic are two of the safest toy materials. Luckily, they’re also becoming more affordable as mainstream companies realise that consumers are looking for quality products at affordable prices.
For around US$60, you can get the body-safe, super-powerful Vibratex Mystic Wand. For a little less, you can get the Fun Factory Layaspot, a cult classic clitoral vibrator. Looking for something else? Maybe a rabbit-style vibrator? Recently, a company called OVO came onto the scene and blew everyone away with their wide selection of affordable, body-safe products.
Think about how you’ll use it
Are you looking for something that you can use clitorally, vaginally, anally, or with a partner?
For many women, clitoral stimulation is the key to an orgasm. By far, clitoral vibes seem to be the most popular choice for a first time toy buyer, with a close second being rabbit vibrators. My favourite clitoral vibrators are the We-Vibe Touch, Lelo Siri, and Eroscillator. All of these are considered luxury vibrators, and as such, really bring the power. The We-Vibe Touch, with its unusual but ergonomic shape, is particularly well-suited to partner play and even use during sex.
Whether you’re looking for a vibrator or a non-vibrating dildo, you’ll want to consider size and shape. When you think of insertable vibrators, the old slimline, C-battery powered beasts might come to mind. Luckily, that’s no longer the norm! Look for something made of silicone, and consider whether you want a rechargeable battery. On the plus side, rechargeables save you money. But an inexpensive rechargeable toy can be weakly powered. My absolute favourite insertable vibrator is the Lelo Mona 2, which has a gentle G-spot curve and a powerful motor. My favourite non-vibrating dildos are from Tantus and Vixen Creations, as they take full charge of their production and guarantee only premium silicone is used. My top pick for an all-purpose dildo would have to be the Vixen Creations VixSkin Mustang.
I could write a whole another article about anal toys! The basics, though, are simple: Always choose a sterilizable material like pure silicone, glass, or quality metal. Start small, and never force it. It should never hurt. (If it does, try more lubricant and some deep breaths.) For beginners, a small plug is a great way to go. Tantus Perfect Plug is just as the name implies. I’m also fond of the Doc Johnson Mood Naughty plugs, of which small and medium would both be suitable for newbies. If you’re looking for something with a little more panache, the nJoy Pure Plugs are beautiful and functional.
When it comes to couples’ play, there are a few major categories: Toys one partner uses on another, toys that stimulate both of you at once, and cyberdildonics.
Toys in the first category are the easiest to find. Any of the toys I’ve listed above can be used with a partner! Some are more suited to it than others, but with good communication, you can make anything work. Panty vibrators are also a very popular choice, though the old ones tended to have a lot of wires sticking out or very weak vibrations. Thanks to OhMiBod, that problem is forever in the past. Their new OhMiBod BlueMotion set includes a vibe that can be inconspicuously worn with any pair of underwear, and an app that can control your vibe from anywhere in the world.
If you’re looking for something that you can use together during sex that will stimulate the both of you at once, you’ll want to look for a vibrating cock ring or a wearable couples’ vibrator. OVO, mentioned above, makes great body-safe vibrating cock rings for those on a budget. But one of my favourite couples toys is the WeVibe, which is worn half inside the vagina and half against the vulva. The vibrations can be felt by both partners, but it doesn’t get in the way during sex.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, you’ve probably tried phone sex, maybe even Skype sex. While both of those activities are fun, they’re definitely not close to the real thing. Recently, a company called KIIROO came out with a pair of devices that are capable of interacting over BlueTooth, with a complementary video chat system that prioritizes personal connection. KIIROO Pearl is a G-spot vibrator that gives you full control over your pleasure and your partners. KIIROO Onyx is an interactive male masturbator with a Fleshlight sleeve inside. The way you use Pearl will dictate the stimulation your partner receives from their KIIROO Onyx. The two can connect from any location, all over the world – and the connection is secure.