Sexual exploration with these beginner-friendly toys & aids
Contrary to what you may have heard up until this point in your life, sex toys aren’t just used to “spice it up” or save a sex life on the brink of its own demise. Sex toys aren’t a desperate call for help or a sign that your current sexcapades are failing you.
Sex toys are just fun. Today we’re delving into sex toys for the sake of sex toys. Specifically, we’ll be taking a look at aids and toys that you’ll feel comfortable with if you’re just dipping your toes in and testing the water.
But if you’ve found yourself reading this article thinking, “that first paragraph describes me perfectly!”, don’t let what we said stop you from reading on. And also, our condolences. We hope this article will act as the jaws of life to your metaphorical car crash.
There are a few things that come to mind when we consider the phrase “spice it up”. First, why wait until you’re dissatisfied to do something differently during sex? Second, sex toys absolutely don’t need to be saved for making things interesting or used only on special occasions.
Let’s delve deeper together into the ways sex toys and various other sexual aids might be integrated NOW into your sex life -- and not because you’re bored with the current state of things, but because you value both you and your partners’ pleasure.
Here are a few sex toys and tools that can be used for both personal and partnered play:
Lube has the power to transform your sex life for the better. It’s a relatively simple aid that can be replicated on a dime if you have coconut oil in your cupboards (WARNING: Oil, and oil-based lubes WILL break down latex, i.e. condoms, dental dams).
A little extra slickness is never a bad thing, but there’s some stigma surrounding it that may have stopped you from making that water or oil-based purchase. And listen, we’re just as fed up as the next guy that many hear lube and fill in the blanks with vaginal dryness. Lube is more multifaceted and serves a wider audience than you may be giving it credit for.
Many incorrectly assume that only older women need lube or that self-lubrication should happen on the spot, on command for women who are young. But arousal isn’t the end all be all for a woman’s lubrication needs. Whether it be a lack of foreplay, medication, stress…
And even with self-lubrication, many men and women report enjoying lube in addition. Having a well lubricated penis only increases pleasure.
So we’ve convinced you, you’re loading up your online cart with lube as we speak. Which lube are you going to choose? Water-based? Oil-based? Silicone-based? Here’s a quick run down of the benefits of each, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
Water-based lubes are great if you have sensitive skin or plan to use them in addition to a sex toy or condom. This type of lube is easy to clean off clothes and sheets and won’t stain. It can be sticky and may dry out, but can be easily replenished with a little spit, water or even another little squirt of lube.
Oil-based lube provides a slippery feel that is longer lasting than water-based lubes. It’s great for massages and ideal for masturbation. However, you’ll need to keep condoms, diaphragms and dental dams away from oil-based lube as it breaks down latex, rendering these contraceptives and STI preventatives useless. Oil-based lube can also be tricky to get off your clothes or out of your sheets.
Silicone-based lubes require less to get the job done and is long-lasting. They’re great for masturbation and shower sex as they don’t wash away easily. However, you’re going to have a tough time washing up and silicone-based lube is likely not coming out of your sheets. Also, don’t use silicone-based lube with silicone toys, as it will cause them to break down over time.
Some clit stimulation is a welcome addition to both solo and partnered play. But where do you start? Expressing your interest in bringing a vibrator into the bedroom is a great place to start, but what next? There may be more options and variations than you initially realized. The key to choosing a vibrator lies in deciding what kind of stimulation you’re looking for.
Here’s a video that will help you choose from the 5 main types of vibrators:
If you’re interested in reading more about the complex relationship women have with vibrators, here’s a blog post you may enjoy: The Woman’s Guide to Vibrators.
Dildos may not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering adding a toy to partnered sex, but this toy can absolutely be a positive addition to your sock drawer. Having a hard time imagining it? We’ve compiled a few ways in which you might break out the dildo during partnered play.
Scenario #1: Use a dildo in tandem with oral sex, inserting it to create a fuller feeling than just fingers alone.
Scenario #2: Use while watching each other masterbate! I’m sure your mind can fill in the blanks, no need for us to elaborate. But if you’re still curious, read more on mutual masterbation here.
Scenario #3: Dildos aren’t just for those with vaginas. Use a dildo on him for some prostate stimulation. This could be an opportunity to dip your toes into pegging, if that’s something you’ve been curious about.
Scenario #4: Create a double-penetration situation by incorporating the dildo in place of a second penis. It can be a fun way to play without bringing a third person to the party.
Scenario #5: Sword fight! (kidding ... mostly.)
Tips for bringing a dildo into the bedroom:
If either you or your partner is male, introducing a dildo that’s similar sized or smaller will likely make them feel more comfortable.
Don’t bring a dildo to bed as a surprise. Talking with your partner first is a good rule of thumb. If you feel it would be a fun, sexy and welcome surprise, then that’s a decision you can make on your own. We’re just saying surprises can be met with mixed reactions.
Discuss afterwards. Did you both get what you were hoping for from the experience? Would you like the dildo to make a more regular appearance or have you realized it's not for you? There’s no wrong answer. More than anything, introducing a dildo, or any sex toy, comes down to doing what feels good and is enjoyable for both partners.
Cock rings function by restricting blood flow to the penis, making it harder than normal. A cock ring will make the shaft and tip more sensitive, too -- an added bonus! Despite what you may have heard, cockrings aren’t just for those with ED, although they are a valuable tool if that’s something you or your partner is working with.
Cock rings, like most sex toys, can be introduced just to throw in another variable. Basic cock rings are cheap and pretty simple to use, simply slide it on you or your partners’ penis while it’s semi-hard. The toy can then be situated either in front or behind the testicles. For your first time with this toy, in front of the testicles is a safe bet while you get the feel for things.
If you’re going to use a condom, put it on after.
While all cock rings are just that -- a ring for a penis -- there are some variants in toys with features that might draw you to one type of cock ring over the other.
Again, we’ve created a video guide that may aid in choosing the cock ring best for you and your partner.
And if these suggestions are a little vanilla in your eyes, a little anal play never hurt anyone (who used lots of lube and worked up to it).
While many may think of butt plugs as a tool to “warm up” for anal sex, especially when we’re to consider “anal training kits” that often times include varying sizes of butt plugs, a single butt plug -- not intended to “warm up” anything, is a great addition to your sex life.
Anal plugs have the ability to make a person feel more "full" and can narrow the vaginal canal, resulting in increased pleasure for both partners. Butt plugs don't have to be for just partnered sex, either. Masturbating with a butt plug in adds a little extra *something* and can intensify orgasms. There's something about it that feels a little self-care-esque as well, making the experience more than just rubbing one out.
If a little booty play is something you’re interested in and you’re new to it, know inserting anything, whether fingers, anal beads or a butt plug, shouldn’t hurt. Don't "put up" with any pain. It shouldn't hurt. Relaxing is important, and so is playing with your booty a little before insertion. Start with a small plug; this can help alleviate discomfort.
Check out our anal toys and stimulators before deciding what plug is best for you.