“ Sex toys have long since graduated from the floppy rubber things you hide in your bedside table to beautiful works of interactive art.” -Gwyneth Paltrow.
Congratulations! So you’ve decided to buy your first sex toy. Maybe you’ve seen Sex and the City or maybe your bff can’t stop talking about how AMAZING hers is. Regardless you’re excited and anxious. You’ve got a millions questions and you have no idea where to start. First off sex toys are an amazing way of discovering your body. They help educate you on what turns you on and that in turn helps you communicate with any future partners how to bring you pleasure. Satisfying sex whether from human to human intercourse or through the use of a brand new friend triggers hormones and neurotransmitters that help us to feel relaxed, and relieve stress.
Before anything else I would highly recommend that you find a boutique a la Pleasure Chest, ConRev, Lovers ect. I can’t begin to count the amount of times I’ve bought a toy online and received something barely resembling the pictures on the site. You can’t beat feeling the toy, going through it’s different features. Think of it as a test drive before purchase. Looks can absolutely be deceiving. Thanks to my colorful journey into the realm of all things sexy toy I’ve picked up a vast amount of information that will help guide you on your quest so here we go.
1. What kind of stimulation are you looking for?
I always suggest to my first time buyers that they explore dual stimulation. It’s a wonderful to see if you are more sensitive internally or externally without buying two separate toys-which you can absolutely do if you want. You aren’t interested in any internal penetration? No problem! Your typical external toy can go by many names (ie. bullet or pocket rocket) these can be used for cliteral, outer lips or nipple stimulation and should NOT be used internally.
2. How much rough and tumble to do you want your toy to be able to withstand?
Do you want to be able to be more aggressive with your toy? Or just some gentle use? This is important because it change the materials you’re working with and price range. Do you want something you can take in the shower? In the tub? (And yes there is a difference….a big one.) For the most part you want to stick to Food grade and Medical grade silicones, glass, stainless steel, ABS plastic and wood.
Cheaper vibes are usually made from Jelly, PVC, elastomer (a rubber compound) and thermoplastic rubber (TPR ) . These materials are porous, tend to sweat and carry a foul odor. They are considerably less expensive and can therefore be very alluring to first time shoppers, but a quick read will tell you why you should steer clear. I highly suggest you check out Dangerous Lilly’s piece on Yes, Jelly Sex Toys can be Dangerous .
3. How much are willing to spend?
Contrary to popular belief you’re first sex toy doesn’t have to be some buzzy hard plastic piece of junk. Now not every toy is worth it’s price tag, BUT more times than not you’re paying for quality. Think of it this way, can you imagine how much money you would spend replacing the same $30 toy over and over and over again. Not to mention the astronomical cost of replacing batteries. A rechargeable toy if taken care of can last you years. It’s an investment in yourself, but you’re worth it.
4. Don’t forget the LUBE
Lube is wonderful. Lube will keep you going all night long. It’s not only for those experiencing vaginal dryness ,but are also great for that. A water based lubricant is must with any toy purchase because it helps keep penetration and external stimulation pleasurable. After a while even the most aroused person can dry up you’re not Niagara Falls. Plus a yummy flavored lube makes the experience sooo much more arousing especially when your partner is using your toy on you.
Water based lubricants are compatible with all toy materials and all body parts. They absorb into the skin a bit quicker, but Pjur has an wonderful one that won’t dry up as quickly so yay!
Silicone and Oil based lubricants should only be used with glass, steel or wood. Silicone is attracted to itself on a molecular level, so if you put silicone lube on a silicone toy, the lube could begin to break down the solidity of the toy. You can use a high grade silicone lubricant like Uberlube with an equally high grade silicone toy, but to be on the safe side I would just stick to using silicone with the aforementioned materials and all body parts.
6. Cleaners are a must
You want to make sure that your investment doesn’t go to waste so don’t forget to pick up a toy cleaner. Your first instinct is to use soap and water, I want you to step away from that instinct. After all, sex toys come are coming in intimate contact with ourselves, and our partners – so all those harsh chemicals are a no no. DON’T PLACE YOUR TOY IN THE DISHWASHER. All that’s going to achieve is a nasty UTI, think about it sloshing water that’s picking up old particles and placing them all over a toy that’s going inside your body. No thank you.
The most hassle free way is to pick up a mist or foam sex toy cleaner. Intimate Earth a wonderful company that’s 100% vegan and never tested on animals makes an equally wonderful toy cleaner. Infused with Tea Tree Oil, a natural antifungal and antibacterial element will make sure to leave your toy squeaky clean.
Most importantly of all never ever be afraid to ask questions. Before I was able to talk to a single customers I had hours and weeks of training. I learned about all sorts of materials and lubricants that are compatible with said materials. There is a plethora of sex toys good and bad out there and I will help you find the perfect one.