Life is easier when there is someone there to help you understand the scary stuff. Remember what it was like the first time you woke up in a wet spot? Or how about when you got your period in school? You sort of knew what was going on, but it wasn’t until you chatted with your best friend that you totally understood. “Ooooooh,” you’d confirm, letting what they had just laid on you sink in. You relied on your best friend to give it to you straight. And that’s what I’m going to do. Give you the straight talk about sex toys.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting, owning or using a sex toy. Sex toys enhance together time and sooth alone interludes. I want to yank my hair out every time I get an email that starts off with, “I’ve never had a toy before…” And it’s not so much out of irritation towards the writer, but because I remember being that person. That toyless person. That confused, toyless person.
I have put together a page full of things I think every sex toy novice should have: a glossary, a description of toy materials, a what’s what of lubrication, a guide to cleaning, and top FAQs. Please browse through and educate yourself. I hope as you become more familiar with the toys you will feel more comfortable buying and using them.
Beginners Guide to Lubricants - go with the flow
Lubricate, lubricate, lubricate! I can’t say it enough. Everyone has a dry spell and everyone needs lube during anal play so researching the best lube, prior to playing, is always a fabulous idea. When buying a lube always keep in mind how you will be using it and on what toys you might be playing with. The wrong lube can lead to toy erosion, stains or even vaginal irritation. Label reading—it’ll save you problems later!
Water Based: Hands down your best all around lubrication. Because of a water base, this lubrication is easily cleaned up and it will not stain. Water-Based Lubes tend to dry quicker than other lubes so you may find that you need to use more during sex play. Water based lubes can also come in a variety of flavors which make them a top choice for oral recreation. Water based lubes can be safely used with CyberSkin, silicone, jelly and rubber toys. They are also safe to use with condoms. (Astroglide, KY Jelly, Climax Lube, WET Original Formula).
Silicone Based: This lubricant is best known for being waterproof, which makes it number one for play in water. A little goes a long way when it comes to Silicone-Based Lube which makes them popular for extended play. Soap and water make clean up easy. Silicone lubrication should not be used on CyberSkin or silicone toys (without a condom) because it will destroy the material. (Astroglide X, Pjur Bodyglide).
Petroleum Based: This is the least popular lubricant for a few reasons: it can not be used on rubber or CyberSkin toys, it can be irritating to the vagina, it stains, and it will render condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps useless. Safe sex practices do not allow for petroleum based lubes because they will break down and destroy a condom or dam’s material. (Vaseline, Baby Oil).
Beginners Guide to Materials - can you feel it?
When it comes to toy material it all boils down to, “What do you prefer?” If you are looking simply to have clit stimulation than you probably don’t mind if the material is more firm. If anal play is what you seek, more pliable and soft substance might suit your need. I recommend trying all materials at one time or another—you never know what might tickle your fancy!
What To Look For In A Sex Toy
Jelly Toys (vibrating Jelly): Jelly toys are made of a jelly/gummy material. Jelly Toys are flexible and have a slight squish feel to them. Although these toys are relatively inexpensive they have a slight sticky feel to them and tend to give off a plastic smell—a turn-off for those looking for a realistic toy. Jelly toys are extremely porous and since they cannot be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water or sterilized by boiling, they should always be used with a condom. Jelly toys should be used with a water based lubrication (Astroglide, KY Jelly) and not a petroleum based lube. These toys should be replaced every six months because they cannot be cleaned thoroughly.
Silicone Toys: Silicone toys made from a non porous, smooth material. Silicone Toys are your best bet for the money. While slightly more expensive then most toys, silicone is more realistic and tends to be a good choice for people with a latex rubber allergy. Warm water and antibacterial soap (such as hand soap) will clean these non porous toys while silicone dildos (or toys without batteries) can be boiled in water or run through the dishwasher. Silicone toys should not be used with silicone based lubrication.
Rubber Toys: Rubber toys made from a rubbery, slightly stiff material. People sensitive to certain materials tend to find that they are allergic to latex rubber. There are very few pluses to rubber toys: they are extremely porous, feel particularly unrealistic, and tend to show wear quicker than most materials. Rubber toys should be used with water based lubrication and never a petroleum based lube.
Realistic Toys: Realistic toys made from an exceedingly realistic material such as CyberSkin that warms with use. Although Realistic Toys are on the high end of the price list, they are well worth their money. Realistic toys take a bit more maintenance then other toys because of their high quality material (see the “Cleaning Toys” section). Water based lubrication is best used on realistic toys. Petroleum based and silicone based lubes will ruin realistic toys easily.
Sex Toy Glossary
Anal Beads: No, these are not necklaces for your backside. Anal Beads are plastic or jelly strands of beads that are inserted into the anus. As the person reaches climax the beads are slowly removed from the anus to heighten the effects of the orgasm.
Ben Wa Balls: Also known as Orgasm balls. Orgasm Balls are inserted into the vagina and through rocking and vaginal muscle movement can produce fabulous orgasms!
Bullets: Also known as eggs. These vibrators are small, bullet or egg shaped, and are controlled by a small remote attached with a thin wire. Butt Plug is a flexible rubber or jelly toy that is inserted into the anus to heighten sexual exploration. It is small in size, bullet-like in design and has a flared base to keep it from accidentally slipping all the way into the anus.
Clit Stimulators: For the most part, all vibrators can be used to stimulate the clit, but Clitoral Stimulators in particular focus on the clit.
Dildos: A sex toy used mainly for stimulation through insertion. Dildos are often realistic, though not always.
Double Dongs: Dildos that have a penis head on both ends making it a great insertion toy for couples. Double Dildos are sometimes curved in a "U" shape for use by one person (double penetration).
Female Pumps: Also known as clit or nipple pumps, Female Pumps come with a suction cup that is either placed over the clitoral area or the nipple. Once a grip has been established a vibrating stimulator is turned on sending pulsating vibes to the designated area.
Glass Wands/Dildos: These dildos are made from the world’s most durable glass borosilicate. Glass Dildos are non-porous and can be sterilized in the dishwasher which makes them ideal for people who find themselves susceptible to allergic reactions from latex and rubber toys. Glass wands are heat absorbent. You can either heat the dildo in hot water or simply allow your body’s heat to warm the e-glass. Maybe you enjoy cold rather than heat. If that’s the case than try putting the dildo in the freezer. The great thing about e-glass is that it won’t crack or break—talk about long lasting!
G-Spot Vibrators: A woman’s G-spot is actually found inside of the vagina. Imagine sticking your finger inside your vagina, so that the nail is facing down and the pad of your finger is facing up. Then make a “come here” motion with the finger. The spongy tissue you are tickling on the top of your vaginal channel is your G-spot. A G-Spot Vibrator is made to specifically stimulate that site.
Jelly: A type of material used for sex toys. Jelly is very soft and pliable, but extremely porous, which makes it difficult to clean.
Latex Rubber: A type of material commonly used for sex toys and condoms.
Lubricants: Capable of reducing friction. Lubricants can be used alone, with sex toys, or with a partner.
Silicone: A type of material commonly used to make sex toys. This material is a good choice for those allergic to latex. Non porous, which makes it easier to clean. (Silicone Dildos, Silicone Vibrators)
Strap On: A dildo you can wear on your hips, thigh, chest or face and use to penetrate a partner. Strap-Ons are available to men and women and can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your sex life.
Vibrators: Used to stimulate areas such as the clit, vagina, anus, scrotum or nipples by single or multi-speed vibrations. Vibrators come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and strengths to heighten pleasure.
Waterproof Sex Toys: Toys that can be used in and around water. Waterproof Toys are especially great in the shower or tub. While waterproof toys can be used in hot tubs, pools, and the ocean you need to keep in mind that chlorine, chemicals and salt water can wear down and destroy toys.
Beginner's Sex Toy FAQ - what was that?
I'm looking to get my wife her first vibrator. She doesn't masturbate much, and I am hoping to get her something that not only we can use but might turn her on to pleasuring herself more....any suggestions?
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If a woman only masturbates alone, when no one is around, does she still masturbate? Good for you for wanting to enhance your wife’s self pleasuring moments! I realized that whenever someone asked me to suggest a vibrator for a first time user I always leaned towards the more phallic vibrator. Truth be told non-phallic toys are much less intimidating. Try the Pocket Rocket, My First Silver Bullet, or Lia Dreamer. I would find it hard to believe that these toys won’t convince your wife to pleasure herself more often.
Is there a vibrator which I could use on a long flight that would be discreet?
Of course there is. But first let me remind you of a few things. First, if it is a wearable, Hands Free Vibrator and you are wearing it to the airport there is a very large chance that it will be detected going through a metal detector. If you want to avoid the embarrassment than you are better off putting your toy in your carry on. Of course that presents troubles too—your toy will show up on the x-ray screen. So that said let's discuss the possibilities. You could go for something small, sleek and that can be put on right before getting on your flight—like the Impulse Ultra 7 Bullet. This small bullet comes with a multi-speed control and can be used discreetly. The Venus Butterfly is hands free and wearable, which is perfect for a long flight! Start off slow with this multi-speed control so that when the plane takes off, so can you!
Me and my girlfriend are looking for a strap-on that will pleasure her and me at the same time. What would you suggest?
There are a few strap-ons that would fit the bill, one of them being the Fantasy Elite Vibrating 6" Hollow Strap-On. This adjustable hollow strap-on can be worn by either sex and has seven modes of vibration to enhance stimulation. The other possibility would be the Double Dipper Inflatable Vibrating Strap On. This toy has a vibrating dildo that penetrates the wearer and an inflatable dildo for the receiver.
Please explain anal beads to me.
Anal beads are a string of hard rubber or jelly beads. The beads are strung on either a nylon string for more mobility or fused together in a strand for a deeper penetration. The amount of and size of the beads vary from one strand to another; some gradually increase in size while others can vibrate. Lubrication must always be used with anal beads (a water-based lubricant such as Astroglide or KY Jelly is a safe bet). You want to lubricate your beads and your rectum so as not to cause discomfort. One way to use anal beads is to insert them before having sex and then slowly remove them as your orgasm peaks. It may take a few tries before you are comfortable using anal beads, because of this I would suggest starting with a smaller variety first.
Is anal sex pleasurable for women? My wife and I have discussed it, but she says that women do not enjoy it. What toys would you suggest for trying something anal?
I don’t think that that question has a simple answer. There is a hump when it comes to anal sex and it is one that women have a difficult time hurdling. I think it is fair to say that we don’t want to be embarrassed by anal sex. You know what runs through our minds? Will it hurt? How do I do it? Will it make me fart? Or worse yet, what if there’s poop? If I do it once will he expect it all the time? Any of those things could happen, what we need to realize is that it’s not the end of the world if they do. Yes, it can hurt, but that’s because you are putting something foreign (whether it’s a penis or a dildo) in your anus. The natural reaction of the anus is to tighten up and refuse to allow the object in. How do you have anal sex? Plenty of lubrication and I mean plenty. Anal sex is not a time to be stingy. Lube up and ease on in—slooooowly! Yes it could make you fart, but so can vaginal sex. The poop issue will always be there, but you can do things to reduce the chances. One is to have a bowel movement before anal sex. Also, you can try anal douching. As far as having anal sex all the time—well, that depends on you and your partner. Anal sex is definitely something that grows on you. The first time is almost always difficult, but with practice and relaxation it actually becomes quite enjoyable! If you’d like to start with a toy I recommend a small and thin one to begin. The High Intensity Vibro Tease Plug is a great beginner toy!
How do I know what size vibrator or dildo I can use? I have never used one.
With a vibrator I prefer to find one that has a strong pulse rather than girth or length—a multi-speed vibrator is usually a safe bet because you are in control of the vibration speed. As for dildos? I can’t help but think of Goldilocks and the Three Bears…this one is too big, this one is too small, and this one is just right! I’d say a good dildo to consider would be one that ranges from 6”-8” long and about 1.5” in diameter. The toys listed on Too Timid have a detailed product description that will tell you measurements. After that it’s simply a matter of preference.
Is the butt plug for men too?
You bet your ass it is! For first time users I would suggest that you try a jelly butt plug, preferably one that is on the smaller/slender side. You can even get a set of plugs, such as the Renegade Anal Trainer Kit. This includes three tapered silicone butt plugs of varying sizes to help you get started.
Cleaning Your Sex Toys
A while back I wrote about the need for a toy box. I called out to you to fill it with gadgets and gismos that would escort you on your way to orgasmic bliss. Being ever so helpful I want to send along some more advice—how to clean your toys.
Pat yourself on the back, you’ve already done the hard part—you’ve bought a sex toy(s). A round of applause is in order if you are using and enjoying it/them on a regular basis. I couldn’t be happier for you. What you need to keep in mind is that you need to also be cleaning your toys on a regular basis. It is especially important if you are using your toys with more than one partner or using them in multiple orifices.
Good ol’ soap (anti bacterial hand soap works well) and warm water will clean your toy, as long as you do it every time you play with your toy. CyberSkin toys are cleaned in a different way. You can clean CyberSkin products with warm water and mild soap then pat them, gently, with a dry cloth. Once they are dry you want to dust them with cornstarch (Do not dust your toy with baby powder or talcum powder as talc has been linked to cervical cancer). The cornstarch is used to help maintain the real feel of the CyberSkin.
Porous toys (jelly & rubber) are impossible to sterilize so they should always be used with a condom. Even with condom use porous toys should be replaced with some frequency (a good guide is every 6 months). A more practical and much easier type of toy to clean is one made of silicone (non porous). Silicone dildos are easily cleaned and sterilized by running them through the dishwasher or boiling them in water.
***I know none of you would ever do this, but remember never submerge any electrical toy or battery pack in water!***
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