Emily Writes provides an essential guide through the vast world of sex toys and finds something for everyone.
Sex toys have well and truly become mainstream. When you buy a toy you’re taking control of your sex life and fully celebrating your body and how wonderful it is. These days, there truly is a sex toy for everybody, so if you’ve been thinking about buying a toy, the time really is now. Get on that (silicone, glass, or metal) dick basically.
To cope with the increasing demand New Zealand’s biggest online sex toy store Adulttoymegastore recently had to move into a 3,500 square warehouse. It’s ten times the size of their previous location and they stock more than 10,000 different types of products. It’s wall-to-wall sex. It proves heaven truly is a place on earth.
That’s a lot to choose from. And that choice can feel intimidating. It doesn’t need to though. All you should do is focus on the end goal.
The key is not to go for cheap and nasty products from dodgy online retailers – a toy that costs $2 is probably not something you want to put inside you. The adult toy industry isn’t regulated, though it’s being looked into by the International Standards Authority. Adulttoymegastore is the New Zealand observer on the project committee that’s looking into a universal safety standard.
Although there’s a huge amount of choice, don’t get overwhelmed: choosing a sex toy should be as fun as using it, says customer satisfaction specialist at Adulttoymegastore Sophie McGrath.
“I think generally, people can find it a bit daunting seeing just how many options there are out there. But really, you should see a carefully curated large selection of toys for sale as reassuring. It means there’s definitely going to be one that suits you”.
Look for a place that only stocks toys and look for a store that employs people who know what they’re talking about. Adulttoymegastore is New Zealand owned and operated with a hotline for customers. An online shop shouldn’t mean you’re not able to get help with your purchase.
“I love it when customers get in touch and say, ‘this is what I’m looking for, can you help me?’” McGrath says. “We also publish guides that should help customers to make their choice. A top-sellers category can also help, it should show reviews of toys. Nothing is better than hearing straight from a user what works and what doesn’t with a toy.”
You can claim your free Bullet Vibe now. Use the code: SPINOFF.
Don’t spend forever researching – go with what tickles your fancy
Look for toys that catch your eye and then read the reviews – what better way to find out if a toy might work for you than to see if it worked for someone else? A good online store should have a tonne of reviews and guides to toys. Read a few to see what appeals. But just a few! Spending hours researching will only put pressure on you when the toy arrives – it’s meant to be fun!
Don’t run before you can walk
There are great beginner toys available – bullet vibes are highly recommended as a first toy if you have a vagina. They’re small, compact and easy to use. If they have a cord you can put them in your vagina, if they don’t, use them to massage your clitoris. They’re also reasonably priced. So, if it’s not right for you, you can just try something else.
If you have a penis a good choice for a beginner is a masturbator. You could also start smaller with a Tenga Egg or, if you’re using it with a partner, try a cock ring.
A Tenga Egg is a wonderful little product – it might look complicated but really there’s nothing complicated about it. You just take the “egg” out of its casing and pull it over your penis. Then you masturbate while it’s on. With the “egg” sleeve’s different textures, it’s basically the fanciest wank you’ll ever have.
A cock-ring helps to restrict blood flow, encouraging erections to last longer. If it vibrates as well it feels even better. You can even get some that cradle your balls. When it comes to things you can put on your penis, there’s really no end to the possibilities.
Work out what you like
If you’re looking for clitoral stimulation try a clitoral vibrator or suction device, a bullet vibrator, a lay-on vibrator or wand. G-spot stimulation is best with a dildo, G-spot vibrator or glass toy – search “G-spot” on the Adulttoymegastore website and you’ll likely get a bunch of results.
A clitoral stimulation toy simply focuses on your clitoris – the world-famous Satisfyer Pro 2.0 is a good example. It has a little cap that sits over your clitoris but doesn’t touch it. Then it shoots little bits of air onto your clitoris giving you an orgasm that damn near kills you. It’s definitely the future of sex toys. Using one can warm you up for the main event or be a quick climax in the shower before work. Some people find it too much and others basically never want to leave the house again – everybody is different.
G-spot stimulating vibrators are usually curved or they have a “nub”. Vibrators don’t usually look like knobs anymore. They come in amazing colours like this awesome Sunshine vibe or they’re really pretty like this one. Others have amazing names like the G-Gasam. There are lifelike dildos, but often they’re curved to make sure they hit the G-spot.
If you’re looking for both clitoral and vaginal stimulation, try a rabbit vibrator. The rabbit part (which may or may not be shaped like a rabbit) will focus on your clitoris while the vibrator internally hits your G-spot.
If you have a penis and you’re wanting something lifelike that feels real, try a fleshlight. A fleshlight is a hand-held vagina basically. You put your dick in it and thrust. It’s easy to do and provides a heap of different sensations.
Toys are great for couples
So buy them together! Make sure you’re on the same page and everybody is comfortable – create a wishlist and then add to it and see what you like.
The key is to just have fun. Don’t let Victorian-era attitudes about sex stop you from having a great time and discovering all the things your body loves.
If you’re part of a couple and you want to improve your sex life or add a bit of excitement, try a couples vibrator or a vibrating cock ring. If you want to try something a bit kinky try a couples kit – they come with a mix of products.
A couples vibrator works as you’d think it does – you use it during penetrative sex. These vibrators are usually shaped like a U – one side of the U goes into you and the other side stays out. If you’re having sex with someone with a penis, they’ll feel the side that is inside your body with every stroke and, ideally, the other side will rest against your clitoris ensuring you have clitoral stimulation. The Rabbit Couple Vibe is the most popular version of this.
But there are lots of different kinds of couple vibrators ranging from sleeves you put onto your penis to provide different sensations for your partner, to remote vibrators that you can control from a distance or across the dinner table.
Get some stuff for your butt
If you have a vagina, anal play can lead to more intense orgasms. This is because the only thing separating your rectal cavity to your vaginal cavity is a thin membrane so there is no surprise that this area is an erogenous zone. Before jumping completely on board and doing anal with a partner, we recommend experimenting with toys first.
Starting with anal beads is a good idea regardless of what you’re packing downstairs. Typically, anal beads are small, smooth, round spheres made from either silicone or plastic. They consist of a series of connected balls in graduating sizes that are designed to be inserted into the anus. Some anal beads are soft, whereas others are more firm or textured.
When using anal beads, you want to insert each bead gently one at a time using plenty of lube. The insertion of the anal beads doesn’t necessarily provide much pleasure, but they can enhance your orgasm. At the moment of climax, gently pull the beads out one by one. Anal beads are great for beginners as there’s a range of different sizes available and you also have the choice of how many you insert at one given time.
Butt plugs are designed for comfortable anal play. Their tapered head widens out typically into a bulb shape and then tapers at least once more before reaching a wide base. The initial tapered design helps for insertion, while the thin neck keeps the butt plug in place so that it cannot slip into your body.
Butt plugs create more pressure on the back of the vaginal wall, increasing the level of sensation. Your partner will also be able to receive extra stimulation due to the fullness, and if it’s a vibrating butt plug they’ll be able to enjoy the vibrations too.
They also help to relax and stretch the muscles of the anus to prepare your body for anal sex. You should start with a narrower plug, and it should be smooth with no ridges or bumps.
If you’re looking for any anal toy, the key is to start small! And make sure it’s designed to be an anal toy. It needs a flared base or else it could get lost up your butt and you may need to go to A&E to get it out. It needs to be small or else you could tear your anus. Try a trainer set to start which come in a series of sizes and you slowly work your way up (or you don’t if you’re just happy where you are!)
Check the details
When you’ve found a toy you like you need to ask yourself the following questions and answer them by reading the product details: how big is the insertable length? How wide is it? Will it be comfortable inside me? Is it waterproof? This will mean you can use it in the bath or shower. That’s a good idea for a first toy.
If it looks a little complicated and you’re not sure which hole it’s meant to go in, read the instructions. It’s better to be safe than sorry – see if you can watch a video on how to use it or see if there’s a guide available online. Remember, if you’re looking at a mainstream porn site for a demo, you shouldn’t use the family computer – use your phone so that children won’t have accidental access.
Don’t forget lube
It’s an underrated fact, but toys are always better with lube.
The three main types of lubricant are water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based. For beginner’s, a water-based lubricant is a good place to start as they’re user-friendly, easy to clean and cause little irritation. Water-based lubricants are also latex-friendly, meaning they’re safe to use alongside all of your sex toys with no issues.
A best-seller water-based lube such as the Wet Stuff Gold is a good place to start – make sure you opt for the pump top for easy application. It’s important to note that a lot of water-based lubricants contain glycerine (sugar), which you may want to steer clear of as it can cause yeast infections for some people, so always ensure you double-check the ingredients.
But water-based lubes aren’t good for anal because they evaporate quickly. Because your butt isn’t self-lubricating like a vagina, you need something long-lasting. So if you’re trying anal, a silicone-based lube such as the best-selling Uberlube, is likely to last longer and can also be used in the bath or shower. This type of lube is much more versatile. It’s hypoallergenic which is perfect for those with sensitive skin or common allergies. The only downside of silicone-based lube is that sometimes they can damage your silicone toys, but it’s totally safe with condoms and non-silicone toys.
Just have fun
Toys are wonderful because they’re created with the express purpose of making people happy. When you climax your brain produces a myriad of hormones and neurochemicals including dopamine (the happy hormone), oxytocin (the love hormone), and prolactin to create that wonderful feeling of satisfaction. The orgasm sparks the parasympathetic nervous system to start calming down the body – climaxing is literally a wonderful thing for your body and your partner’s body.
It’s a god damn gift is what it is. Given we can develop new neural pathways every time we orgasm, using toys will actually enhance your sex life. It’s safe to say that using toys makes the world a better place and makes you a better person, so what are you waiting for?
This content was created in paid partnership with Adulttoymegastore. Learn more about our partnerships here.
Subscribe to Rec Room a weekly newsletter delivering The Spinoff’s latest videos, podcasts and other recommendations straight to your inbox.