Fact-Checked By: Dr. Tara Scott, OB-GYN
What a time to be alive! The sex toy industry has never been as thriving as it is now, thanks to the normalization of women pleasuring themselves!
Plus, the research and technological advances have made it possible for a constantly evolving market with any toy you can think of. Finding a sex toy, whether for yourself, your partner, or both, is as normal as shopping for anything online, like a pair of shoes.
As the world has spent the majority of the last year inside and avoiding people, the conversation of women pleasuring themselves has become less of an uncomfortable topic. Single people haven’t been able to mingle and the (sexual) isolation, albeit for a good cause, has opened up a new discussion around sex toys.
Also, the idea of a drunken Bumble hook-up, where most women won’t climax anyway, seems less appealing now that there’s a deadly virus. Even couples, who have spent months only seeing each other and no one else, have decided to switch things up and try different ways of experimenting sexually.
However, if you’re just starting out with sex toys, it might seem a bit confusing, especially with all the different kinds. Considering the type of toy that would suit your body best, such as the material, shape, and level of sexual experimentation you’re looking for are all important factors when deciding what to try.
Thankfully, because of the number of sex toys available, there is sure to be a toy out there for you to Spice Up Your Life! Let’s break down a few beginner-friendly toys:
If you’re just starting, or want something simple, try looking for a vibrator. These come in every size imaginable (seriously, look up finger vibrators). Furthermore, consider what you want to be stimulated. If clitoral stimulation is more your thing, maybe a bullet vibrator should be what you try first. If you enjoy both clitoral and g-spot stimulation try a “rabbit” (made famous by Samantha from SATC).
Many vibrators come with levels of intensity and different patterns of vibration to play around with. Some are even designed to be hands-free and fit between you and your partner during sex.
Obviously, the most commonly known sex toy is a dildo. In fact, the dildo has been traced back to the Stone Age and Ancient Greece where historians believe they were made out of materials such as siltstone and shaved down animal antlers. The first modern ones were made out of rubber, but thankfully they aren’t anymore as this caused them to change shape and weren’t as pleasurable as the ones available today.
Dildos are versatile in material, size, vibration, colors, texture, and are pretty straightforward to use. They are also able to be used across genders and sexualities. Many can fit into a strap-on harness, vibrate, and are shaped to hit the spots you want. Some are also really pretty!
Don’t ignore the nipples!
While there are two major parts of the body for people with female genitalia to experiment with, (the clitoris and vagina) the nipple and other parts of the body can also be stimulated for pleasure for women to climax. Known as “extragenital erogenous zones”, these areas include, depending on the individual, places such as the neck, lips, ears, behind the knee, and more.
To read more about how to experiment with these places, read our piece all about them here.
Do not be afraid of the butt plugs! If you want to try something, there is no reason why you shouldn’t try different forms of sexual experimentation.
Sexologist, Good Vibrations, Queen, told Cosmopolitan in an article about sex toys that, “Some want vaginal insertion. In fact, some think that’s the main way to masturbate since it mimics intercourse; but intercourse isn’t the main way women orgasm!"
If you’re hesitant about trying a sex toy like a butt plug, there are ones that are made for beginners. Just remember to go slow and that it shouldn’t be painful.
For those who are keen on further sexual experimentation with sex toys, but are unsure of what they like, it could be worth looking into sex toy kits. Save the time and the drama and let a professional deal with it.
Some companies make specific kits for novices and include different types of toys for both individuals and partners. From butt-plugs to vibrators to cock-rings, you can sample them all without having to purchase them all separately. These kits are made to ensure you get a taste of different kinks in the hope that you find out what best works for you.
As with most sex toys, they can also vary when it comes to the material they are made of and you can check if they are safe for your body. You should always check for a “body-safe” mark on their product description and read the materials in case you happen to be allergic to something. For example, latex toys are considered toxic because they can cause rashes, and “real feel” skin-like material is extremely porous.
The safest options are silicone, glass, and metal. These are non-porous materials, temperature safe, and easy to clean. Many can go in your dishwasher, though you should check the label before doing that to avoid ruining your sex toy.
Like any product you’re buying, make sure to read the reviews. And make sure that the products you order are safe for personal use.
Just as importantly though: have fun!