Fun in the bedroom
The great thing about sex toys is that they’re equal opportunity: They can help keep things spicy if you’re in a relationship, and they can be a joy if you’re not. That’s just one of the 50 interesting sex facts you probably didn’t know.
Having a healthy sex life is important, says Sarah Melancon, PhD, sociologist and clinical sexologist with SexToyCollective.com. However, most people will go through periods in their life where their libido drops. Stress, diet, underlying health conditions, and environmental factors can all do a number on your sex drive. The coronavirus isn’t helping either: Here’s how the pandemic is killing your libido.
One of the remedies for a low sex drive? Seek more sexual pleasure, along with these 20 other ideas to keep your sex drive in high gear. One simple way to add fuel to the desire fire is to use adult sex toys, says Melancon. (First, make sure you know the 8 medical reasons for your low sex drive.)
Types of sex toys
If there’s an erotic idea, there’s a sex toy to fill that kink. That said, most sex toys fit into six general categories, Melancon says.
Vibrators. Vibrating toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are designed for external stimulation for both men and women.
Dildos. Phallic-shaped objects designed for internal sexual stimulation of the vagina or anus.
Butt plugs. Circular designed inserts used to gently stretch open the anus as foreplay or an introduction to butt play.
Prostate stimulators. Toys designed to stimulate the male prostate, located inside the anal canal.
Male masturbation sleeves. These are designed to look like a vulva or anus and fit over the penis. Some vibrate, others attempt to simulate the sensations of oral sex or masturbation.
Remote-control. These can be controlled through a remote or app, so one partner gets to tease the other. They even work long-distance.
Play items. Masks, handcuffs, ropes, feathers, candles, massage oils, swings, sex dolls, and many other items fall under the category of sex toys and are often related to a particular kink.
(You can also try one of these 31 natural libido boosters)
The best types of sex toys to buy
“There are so many types of toys, made for all kinds of uses and people, so the ‘best’ toy is the one that fits your needs,” says Carol Queen, PhD, sexologist for Good Vibrations, a sexual health and wellness toy retailer, and co-author of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone. “Sex toys are really a ‘different strokes for different folks’ kind of product. So more than anything it’s important to know what you like and want to explore.”
Not all sex toys are created equal and you risk injury or infection from using poor-quality toys. “Toxic toys can cause chemical burns—definitely not sexy,” Melancon says. “Unsafe materials can also be porous and harbor bacteria or mold, which may cause infection.”
Unfortunately, sex toys are not regulated, which makes it difficult to be certain your toys are safe. “Safe toy materials include 100 percent pure silicone, wood, medical-grade stainless steel, borosilicate glass (Pyrex), ceramic, and hard plastic,” Melancon says. Avoid the following, she adds: Anything made with latex, phthalates, silicon (it’s not the same as silicone), Sil-a-gel, “silicone blends,” jelly/gel, rubber (even if it claims to be latex- and phthalate-free), vinyl, PVC, TPE, TPR, elastomer, and Cyberskin.
How to buy affordable sex toys
Sex toys can range in price from $5 to several thousand dollars for a Sybian or Real Doll, and quality toys are often not the cheapest toys, Melancon says. Generally, super cheap sex toys will be made of toxic materials, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank and go for the most expensive option. There are plenty of quality sex toys for people on a budget. When shopping there are a few key details to look for, Queen says.
First, purchase products directly from a reputable company with robust customer service, a trained staff, and an established history, she says. You can buy sex toys from third-party sellers, like Amazon, but you’ll need to be extra diligent with your research. Avoid sellers with no history or poorly designed websites.
Queen’s second tip is to get out the measuring tape so you’re clear on what size item you’re purchasing, especially if you’re choosing something that can be used for penetration (and don’t forget to order lube with it!). Lastly, always read the reviews. You can use Fakespot to help you sort through fake reviews. It’s worth a little extra time to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
(Try these 7 ways to make sex great again.)
Sex toys as gifts
Buying yourself a new sex toy is fun but buying one for a partner can add even more excitement. However, whether you’re looking for a fun birthday gift, a unique holiday present, or just a fun surprise for your partner, the first thing to consider isn’t what type of toy to buy but whether or not your partner would like to get a sex toy as a gift in the first place.
“Sex toys can make fantastic gifts, but they can also cross boundaries,” Queen says. Talk to your partner about what they like and need. If you’re not sure, a gift card is the best bet. Shopping together for a sex toy can be a fun, frisky experience on its own, she adds.
Affordable adult sex toys
Vibratex Original Magic Wand
This is the classic of the “power toys” genre and is known for its durability and quality, Queen says, adding that there is a rechargeable, cordless version, as well. “I like to suggest vibrators for a couple of reasons: they can be used on many parts of the body, they provide a kind of stimulation you can’t get in other ways, and they tend to help people orgasm,” she says.
Apollo Max Masturbation Penis Sleeve
This adjustable and reversible toy fits like a “sleeve” over the penis, allowing for a “gourmet” hand job, Queen says. (Check out the six ways masturbation is good for your health.)
The Perfect Match Flexible Rabbit Vibrator
The “rabbit ears” upgrade it from a standard vibrator, giving you more options for stimulation. “This is the only vibrator that’s guaranteed with a ‘forever warranty’ so if you don’t like it or it stops working, they will send you a new model,” Melancon says.
Lovense Max Male Masturbator
This has multiple vibration settings and 360-degree contractions, creating a strong suction sensation, Melancon says. “You can use it for long-distance play using Bluetooth and a partner-controlled app, meaning your partner can decide the speed and strength from the touch of their smartphone or tablet,” she says. “It can be paired with the Lovense Nora for Women, for couples who want to play together from afar and control one another’s toys.”
VibeMax Mini Wand
If you like the “wand” style but prefer something a little more compact, this mini version is a good option. (Never eat these foods that kill your sex drive.)
Crystal Delights Funfetti Plug
“These crystal butt plugs come in a multitude of fun designs and feel great,” Melancon says. “Plus they are made from borosilicate glass which makes them super smooth and body-safe.”
Luna Silicone Rechargeable Vibrator
“Go big or go home” isn’t great advice when it comes to sex toys. This is a great starter vibrator as it is soft and on the smaller side, Queen says. (Do you know how many times a day you need to have sex to slow down aging?)
Rabbit Ears Cock Ring
There are many types of vibrating cock rings to try, but the “ears” on this one give it some extra oomph. Make sure to measure as getting the correct size is crucial with ring toys, Queen says.
Aneros Helix Trident
Aneros makes a line of prostate stimulators—the Trident model is a best seller—that are known for their quality. They’re designed by a doctor with a very loyal following and the company offers lots of online support to get the best experience, Queen says.
Ignite Kama Sutra Massage Candle
A scented candle is a great way to set the mood, but you can do more than just that with the Ignite candles. They are made of soy wax which has a lower melting temperature than other waxes. So when it begins to melt, you have a warm massage oil or a kinky candle-wax dripping that’s not too hot and won’t cause burns, Queen says. (Here are some things that happen to your body when you stop having sex.)
Alarkgulf Blindfold Set for Couple Play
Blindfolds, handcuffs, and other types of light restraints are all-purpose sensual and kinky playthings that add an air of mystery or, if you like, power exchange, to any kind of sex, Queen says. “Just be sure to only use these or any bondage item with a partner you know and trust,” she adds.
Kookie International Naughty & Nice Leather Slapper
A spanking tool can be a fun and different toy for couples looking to spice things up. This one has a softer faux fur side or a leather side, so you can decide how much spanking you enjoy. (Watch out for the 13 sex problems you should take seriously.)
Handheld Electric G-Spot Vibrator
The G-spot—an erogenous area of the vagina—can be tricky to target. But this tool is specially shaped to get just the right angle. The small size makes it easy to travel with. (You can also try taking these vitamins and herbs that can boost your libido.)
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