Buying Your First Sex Toy
A Handy Advice Guide For Sex Toy Newbies
When it comes to buying your first sex toy, the sheer amount of different types of sex toys available can be completely bewildering. Nobody wants to part with their hard-earned cash for something which is either unsuitable or of questionable quality. For those new to the pleasures of sex toys, this advice guide will help you buy a first sex toy (or selection of sexy products) which will be suitable for your needs – giving you pleasure, not disappointment.
What are sex toys, anyway?
At a more factual than fun level, sex toys are pleasure giving or enhancing products which come in a range of styles and shapes, to sexually stimulate various parts of the anatomy. That sounds quite scientific, I know. Basically sex toys are fun devices which can help you, your partner, or both of you reach orgasm. Sex toys don’t care how you identify in terms of gender, sexuality or relationship status, they just exist to make you sexually happy. Cool, huh?
You can use sex toys on your own for a level-up on your masturbation sessions, to easier achieve orgasm or to simply add a new dimension to your self-stimulation. You can also use sex toys with a partner to increase the fun in your sex life, and intimacy in both your love life and relationship. This will be covered in greater depth in a future article. Suffice to say if you have a sexual need, there is probably a sex toy out there to satisfy it.
What are the different types of sex toys?
Before diving into the deep end of buying your first sex toy, I’ll provide a handy list of the main different types of sex toys for you to have a look at. Be warned, there’s quite a few!
- Bullet vibrators
- Clitoris stimulators
- Vaginal / classic vibrators
- G Spot vibrators
- Rabbit Vibrators / Dual Stim
- Couples vibrators
- Panty Vibes / Remote Control Vibrators
- Vibrating love eggs
- Realistic dildos
- Abstract dildos
- Suction cup base dildos
- Double ended dildos
Kegel exercisers & love balls, also known as jiggle balls or Ben Wa Balls
Anal sex toys
- Butt plugs (static or vibrating)
- Anal beads
- Prostate massagers
- Cock rings
- Love rings (this is often how cock rings to be used to enhance couples’ sex are described)
- Penis masturbators such as Fleshlight masturbators / strokers
- Collars & leashes
- Clamps (nipple/labial/clit/testicles/other)
- Punishment tools (spankers, paddles, whips, floggers)
- Sensory play (waxplay candles, pinwheels, electrosex toys)
- Hoods and masks
Adult gifts and games
- Sex games
- Romantic gifts
- Sexy edibles
Now you have a better idea of how the world of sex toys is categorised, it should be easier to see at a glance which types hold an initial appeal to you. Think about what satisfies your physical, sexual needs when you masturbate, or when you have sex. Some useful questions which could help identify which sex toys are best suited to you are:
Do you prefer internal or external stimulation when you’re enjoying sexual pleasure or trying to achieve orgasm?
Is that stimulation from a certain shape of item or anatomy, or from the movement (is it the shape of a toy you’ll be interested in or the strength of any vibrations/movement)?
Do you orgasm mainly through clitoral/vaginal/G-spot/penis stim/prostate/anal or another type of physical stimulation?
Would you prefer your sex toy to look like a realistic part of anatomy, or a completely abstract shape and style?
Will your ideal sex toy have stimulating nodules and/or ridges, or will it be completely smooth?
Would you prefer a flexible sex toy which will bend with your movements during use, or a sex toy which is completely rigid that you can push against?
Will the sex toy be used by you alone, or will you be using it with – or sharing it with – a partner?
Do you plan to use the sex toy in the bath or shower? Would you like a sex toy which is completely submersible?
How would you prefer a vibrating or moving sex toy to be powered – battery operated or rechargeable?
Do you have any allergies or sensitivities which need to be considered when buying your first sex toy or other sexual products (latex, nickel, phthalates, glycerine)?
Once you’ve considered the above questions carefully you’ll be in a much better position to think about buying your first sex toy – and end up owning a sex toy which consistently gives you the sexual pleasure you’re looking for.
What should I avoid when shopping for sex toys?
As a veteran sex toy user I’ve had my share of sex toys which aren’t so great. I’d hate for anyone to spend their money on sex toys which just aren’t up to the task of giving you delicious sexual pleasure – or worse, are decidedly dangerous for you to use. Yes, they really do exist, sadly!
Warning flags include:
Sex toys made with porous materials
These are often at the cheaper end of the price scale – but they’re not worth saving your pennies for. Porous materials (such as TPE and TPR) allow bacteria to enter into the material and are difficult if not impossible to get absolutely hygienically clean. Even if you use an anti-bacterial sex toy cleaner with porous material sex toys, the retention of bacteria in the material means that you’re risking that bacteria entering your body every time you use the toy. Unpleasant, and could lead to nasty irritations or worse.
It’s best to simply avoid porous sex toys, and opt for non-porous materials such as silicone or rigid materials like glass, metal or stone.
The surface of plastic sex toys is non-porous – and they tend to be low-priced too, if you have a tight budget. However, in my experience plastic sex toys don’t last as long as their silicone or rigid material counterparts.
Sex toys made of toxic materials
Some sex toys are still made with materials which include phthalates. If you insert sex toys into your body which contain phthalates, these can leak from the material and be absorbed into your body. The chemicals released tend to be lead and cadmium, which I’m sure you don’t want leaking into your body.
Phthalates are added to plastics such as PVC and jelly sex toys because it makes them more flexible. Research is continually being done on the harmful effects of phthalates on the body, and it’s advisable to avoid sex toys which are made with phthalate-containing materials.
Anal sex toys without a flared base
It is imperative that any sex toy you use for anal stimulation has a flared base. When you insert a sex toy into your bottom, the natural inclination of the anal muscles is to draw it up into the body. Unlike the vagina, which has a closed cervix before the uterus and other areas, the anal area leads directly up into your body. You really don’t want to make that trip to casualty. Only buy and use anal sex toys which have a flared base.
Non-waterproof sex toys
Now, not all non-waterproof sex toys are bad. I have several myself (hello gorgeous Doxy Massager and the iGino One). If you’re only using sex toys externally, it’s possible that you could find a great sex toy which isn’t waterproof and which is just cleaned carefully with sex toy cleaner and a clean cloth. However, if you want to use your new sex toy in the bath or shower, or it’s a sex toy which really needs to be fully submerged in order to get thoroughly clean (think internal use, anal sex toys) then it’s best to look for waterproof options.
What should I look for when buying sex toys?
Take note of the measurements of a sex toy, in the product description (or looking up a product review) rather than relying on the image alone. Images on sex toy shopping websites can often show the sex toy without any sense of perspective. Make sure you buy a sex toy which is suited to your needs – if you know you have a petite vagina, or if you’re new to anal sex toys for instance.
As we’ve already discussed, sex toys can be made from many different materials – some safe, others not so safe. If a sex toys shopping website doesn’t specifically state what a sex toy is made from, don’t be afraid to use their contact page to ask. You have a right to know what material you’re inserting into, or using on, your body.
…if your desire is for a fully waterproof sex toy, of course. As I’ve said, not all good sex toys are waterproof (such as my favourite, the Doxy Massager Magic Wand Vibrator – which is a plug-in vibrator) but the majority of the time I will insist on my vibrators and dildos and butt plugs being 100% waterproof. I can keep them thoroughly and hygienically clean – and play with them in the bath or shower too!
How noisy it is
This is a difficult one to identify from a page on the internet, I’ll grant you! If your circumstances dictate that you need ultra discreet sex toys, have a look at what other customers have said on the product page reviews. Some sex toy shops also have specific Quiet Vibrators or Discreet Vibrators categories.
Does one speed do it for you or do you prefer a range of patterns, pulses and vibration settings? I personally tend to stick with one constant high speed on my vibrators, but many people prefer a vibrator or vibrating penis masturbator with a large range of vibration pattern options. Some basic multi function sex toys have 3-5 functions, whereas others can have as many as 50 different settings, so you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice.
Flared base on anal sex toys
Again, we covered this above but it’s worth reiterating. Do not buy or use anal sex toys unless they have a flared base. It’s not worth the risk!
It’s unlikely that a low priced sex toy will come with a guarantee, but often the sex toys shop itself will offer refund or exchange on faulty sex toys. For high price items such as designer sex toys from LELO, We Vibe or Jimmyjane, a product guarantee from the manufacturers themselves is part of the purchase – and full details & how to register your sex toys are enclosed with the products.
Discreet packaging for peace of mind
Not many people will want their postman, neighbours or other housemates knowing that they’ve bought sex toys. You’ve a right to privacy, which is why discreet outer packaging on your sexy purchases is a must. Reliable and trustworthy sex toy shopping websites such as For The Closet safely package all their products and send in unbranded, discreet outer wrapping. Nobody but you will know what you’ve ordered once it arrives – and that’ll only be when you’ve excitedly opened the package!
How can product reviews help me buy the best sex toys for me?
From shopping regularly on the internet I’ve learned that product reviews can directly influence online purchases. Reading what a real person, who has really used an item, has to say about it gives you an insight into a product that the shop’s product description often can’t give by itself.
There’s a large community of sex toy reviewers out there who want to help you make the best & safest purchase for you. If you Google for reviews of a certain sex toy and the general consensus isn’t good, then it probably isn’t that good!
Although product reviews are the honest opinion of that reviewer and based on their personal experience, reviews can help you form a more rounded opinion of a sex toy than simply reading the sales spiel on a sex toys website product page. Reviews give you a ‘real person’ viewpoint, an unbiased opinion and, often, real photographs of the sex toy so you can see what it looks like without the professional Photoshop edits.
You can use the search box here at my site to find out if I’ve reviewed a sex toy you have your eye on, or find all my sex toys reviews here. There are also several fantastic sex toy reviewers in the community. Just a handful of my favourites are:
UK based sex toy reviewers
- Gritty Woman
- Horny Geek Girl
- Sex Machine Reviews
- Carnal Queen
- Emmeline Peaches
- Kinky Kitten Kim
- Blissfully Orgasmic
- Just Indecerous
- The Big Gay Review
US & Worldwide sex toy reviewers
- Hey Epiphora
- Dangerous Lilly
- Come Heather
- Miss Ruby Reviews
- Krissy Novacaine
- Property of Potter
- Toy Meets Girl Reviews
- Naughty Reenie
- Bex Talks Sex
What else should I add to my sexy shopping basket?
Before you check out with your chosen sex toy(s), you might like to add a few other treats and essentials to enhance your sexual adventures further.
Ask yourself if you’ll be needing batteries, sex lubricant (the right type for the right product – and a must for anal sex toys) or condoms (not just for safe sex but can also protect anal sex toys from retaining nasty smells even after cleaning).
Some teasing treats to add to the fun could be flavoured lubricant, sexy edibles or a fun adult game to spice up foreplay with a partner before bringing out the new sex toy purchases.
Where should I buy my first sex toy from?
For The Closet is a beautiful sex toys shopping website which offers a plentiful array of sex toys, bondage gear, sexy essentials and adult gifts and games.
As well as stocking sex toys to suit all budgets and personal preferences, For The Closet package every order safely and super discreetly for your peace of mind. There’s free delivery to the UK for all £30+ orders, 10% off for members, free batteries with your order if you need them and a loyalty scheme with great incentives and rewards.
Hopefully this advice guide has made buying your first sex toy that little bit easier and a whole lot of fun. Happy sex toys shopping!
Disclosure: This article has been commissioned for publication by For The Closet online sex shop