When it comes to spicing up your sex life, there's no better way to do it than with sex toys. Sex toys can open up a world of new possibilities in the bedroom, bringing you and your partner closer together than ever before. But with so many different types of sex toys out there, the question—among many—is not only how sex toys work, but which ones will work for you. The answer is always found in a blend of practical information, self-exploration, and a helping hand (or foot).
That's why we've put together this handy guide to every kind of sex toy, so you can find the perfect sexual wellness products that’ll rock your world. Whether it's for long-term lovers, new sensations for new relationships, or for the adventurous solo explorer, with the right tools, you can take your sex life to the next level. So have your water based lubricant on standby because we’ve set on our journey into the world of sex toys!
How to Clean Sex Toy
Cleaning sex toys is an important part of any sexual experience. Not only does it make the toys more enjoyable to use, but it also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria and other germs. In order to properly clean sex toys, it is essential to first understand the types of materials used. Sex toys can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, metal, silicone, and other polymers. Each type of material requires different cleaning methods and products.
- Glass sex toys. It is important to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. As glass can easily scratch, it is best to use mild soap and warm water to clean the toy. Additionally, a soft cloth should be used to wipe the toy down.
- Metal sex toys. Should also be cleaned with mild soap and water. If necessary, a soft brush can be used to get into the nooks and crannies. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can cause damage to the toy.
- Silicone and other polymers toys. Should be cleaned with mild soap and water. Additionally, a special cleaner designed specifically for sex toys can be used. These cleaners are available at most sex toy stores. If the toy is made of a porous material, such as Cyberskin or jelly, it is best to use a condom for use, as these materials can be difficult to clean.
This is perhaps one of the most iconic sex toys. One of the more traditional toys, dildos are basic penetrative toys that can come in many shapes and styles, but are almost always somewhat phallic or elongated; sometimes they’ll be made of silicone, but they can also be made out of metal and glass. Just be sure to clean your toy before and after use in any hole—and to keep your sex toys prepped and clean in general.
These sex toys are often dildos or rabbit vibes that are specifically designed to mimic the thrusting power of a penis, and tend to be on the more expensive side because they provide even more sensation to the penetrative experience. Thrusters are useful for people with limited hand mobility or difficulty maneuvering sex toys—and some thrusting dildos can even be used as hands-free sex toys.
Strap-ons are used for penetrative sex, either vaginal or anal, better known as pegging. This is a reminder that peggings can totally happen between people of any and all genders. A strap-on is a two-piece sex toy that includes a dildo, which is a typically non-vibrating toy that is generally penis-shaped. The dildo is held in place by a harness, which attaches to the hips of the person wearing it. If you want to up the stakes, you can try strapless dildos for mutual stimulation and penetration. Strapless strap-ons are very similar to double dildos in that both ends of the sex toy are made to be used at the same time.
Bullet vibrators are about the size of their namesake, making them a discreet sex toy travel companion. Their miniature size might make you think they’re less powerful—but as soon as you switch them on, you’ll go heart-eyed over their vibes. Bullet vibes can be used during foreplay on the nipples and around (but NEVER in) the vagina or anus—most bullet vibrators are not designed to be used internally—and they give direct stimulation to the clitoris or anywhere else on the body that gives you or your partner(s) pleasure.
One of the best first-time sex toys for people who want direct clitoral contact is a wand vibrator. They look like, well, a wand, albeit with greater girth than anything Harry Potter ever carried around. The most iconic wand vibrator is hands down the Magic Wand (formerly known as the Hitachi Magic Wand). It’s worth noting, however, that depending on the type you get, the sensations can be very different. Bulb-tipped wands offer vibrating sensations at the tip, while non-vibrating wands capture the shape of the sex toy category without introducing pulsing frequencies into the pleasure sesh.
When it comes to vibrators, bigger isn’t always better. Finger vibes are especially good for adding clitoral stimulation, including vibration in any kind of touch-based sex play, and jazzing up a sensual massage. Warning, don’t stick it up the back door. Remember: No flared base = no entry.
Also known as erogenous zone vibrators, these sex toys consist of a vibrato, usually one that’s rounded and can fit in your palm. It is to be applied for direct, rumbly pressure to the clitoris or anywhere else on the body that gives you pleasure. They’re also one of the least-gendered vibes in sex toy design, given that they aren’t phallic.
Clitoral Suction Vibrator
Clitoral suction vibrators are the crown jewel of sex toys for your vagina. Hardly a surprise, penetration alone doesn't actually result in orgasm for most women. In fact, only 18% of women can reach the big-O without clitoral stimulation. – namely, because the clitoris is home to the highest number of nerve endings responsible for sexual pleasure ( 8,000 to be exact). This sex toy uses gentle sonic technology to mimic the sensation of receiving really good head.
After making their first mainstream appearance on Sex and the City circa 1998, the best rabbit vibrators – or combination sex toys/rampant rabbits/rabbit vibes – have been mainstays in our bedside tables. Rabbit vibrators' foundational features always include a vibrating shaft or dildo and a smaller attachment that sits atop the clitoris. Sometimes, that attachment will be split in two, resembling bunny ears, to provide even more sensation—thus the name—and the overall effect is dual clitoral and internal stimulation.
Not unlike its cousin, the bullet vibrator, this sex toy is a discreet travel companion. Typically a ring-shaped device is designed to fit snugly around the base of the penis, made to lightly constrict blood flow, allowing for a firmer and longer-lasting erection. But the benefits don't end there. Some cock rings can have vibrational textured attachments for simultaneous clitoral stimulation and surrounding erogenous areas during penetrative sex.
Penis sleeves, fleshlights, or stroking toys, these masturbator tools allow you to take it slow and just enjoy exploring the different sensations. Try your hand with penis sleeves that add length and girth, help with erectile dysfunction, prolong erections, and delay ejaculations. Fleshlights and stroking toys, on the other hand, are often encased in a canister that contains a textured tube or artificial mouth/anus/vagina. Some of these masturbators will allow you to go hands-free, others vibrate, and many designs range from realistic-looking. Remember though, for the same reason you probably wouldn’t enjoy a completely dry blowjob, these toys need to be well-lubed to do their best work. Go with a water-based lubricant, as silicone- and oil-based options can damage the material of your toy.
There are lots of reasons to experiment with a penis pump. Some men with erectile dysfunction find penis pumps super helpful as they can temporarily enlarge the penis and in assist maintaining an erection by creating a suction effect around the penis, typically in a plastic tube, courtesy of a battery or hand-powered pump and a band that fits, and increases blood flow to the penis. Some trans men find them super useful to encourage clitoral growth over time. And well, some men use them to make their junk a little bigger.
You haven’t experienced the full pleasure of orgasms until you've had a prostate orgasm. Prostate massagers are sex toys that target the prostate, which is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder aka the "male G-spot." Before you take your new prostate massager for a spin, we recommend starting small. Internal prostate stimulation takes a softer touch and involves more precise movements and smaller implements, such as fingers or small toys, rather than dildos or penises. You should also be sure to use plenty of lube because the anus doesn't self-lubricate.
Anal beads are made up of multiple balls or ribbed, spherical attachments that are designed to be gradually inserted into your anus in order to please and stimulate its many nerves. Most start off with a tiny anal bead, and they get bigger with the more length you take in. This is great for beginners as it means your body adjusts to the size slowly. They're not remotely as intimidating as they may look, and are really easy to pop in. These toys are usually flexible, and as with any anal toy, will have some kind of handle or stopper at the base.
Take things slowly by exploring yourself or your partner’s backdoor with a well-lubed finger, or a set of anal training plugs (and more lube). A butt plug is a sex toy that is usually shaped like a teardrop. It has a wider end to ensure that it stays in position and doesn’t go further into the anus. A butt plug can be used by anyone with an anus and is often used in partnered sex. Butt plugs are a great way to stimulate the prostate and the surrounding nerves as well as provide extra stimulation to the A spot and the G Spot in the vagina. Butt plugs also feel great when used in conjunction with partnered penetrative sex for dual penetration and can also be worn to stretch or train the anus.
Couples Sex Toys
The better question might be, “What isn’t a couples sex toy?” If you use a toy with a partner, well, then that makes it a couples' toy. That being said, many couples' toys are designed for wearing during sex, in long-distance relationships, or for helping partners control the timing of their orgasms, and there are many remote and app-controlled toys.
So what exactly is sex furniture? Your orgasms are glad you asked. Chances are you’ve already propped your hips up with a pillow or leaned over a table before and enjoyed it. But this stuff is literally built specifically for getting laid. It can range from a simple, supportive pillow that makes doggie so much better or a spinning sex swing you can hang from your very own sex dungeon.