Sex toys. It’s no secret I love them. Of all the “sexperting” I have done over the last 20-ish years or so, sex toys have been my staple. One of my first regular gigs with Adult Match Maker was reviewing them, which I have also done for a billion other websites and magazines. I have worked consistently in adult shops, getting to check out the latest and greatest that come in, and my big future goal is to one day design them and create my own line of awesome buzzy fun things.
I get asked a lot about my recommendations and suggestions for new toys, which isn’t always the easiest of questions to answer. This is because everyone is different and likes varying things, so in order for me to answer that there’s a lot more information I need about your likes and dislikes etc. But one thing I CAN do without too much personal information on your part is give some good advice on how to choose and shop for your new toy. So without further ado, here are Eva’s top seven tips to buying a new sex toy. Trust me… Your bits will thank you.
1. Do Your Research
There are so many toys out there. Some buzz, some shake, some thrust. Some go inside you, some work better on the outside. Some do both! Have a good think about the way you play, and what makes you tingle in all the right spots! Are you a clit chick? Do you like being full up inside? Are you a guy who likes your balls being played with? Do you like anal play? Is it something you want to use alone, or with a partner? Do you have any sensitivities like latex allergies? Talk to your friends about what toys they use, go online and read independent reviews. Have a think about whether you want it hard or soft? Solid or flexible? Would batteries or rechargeable work best for you? This is a big decision and often can work out to be an expensive one, so DO YOUR RESEARCH like you would anything you’re about to spend some money on. You don’t want to waste it on something you’re never going to use.
2. Work Out Your Budget
Like I said above, some sex toys are very expensive, and although some of them are worth that outlay, not all of them are and not all of us can afford two or three hundred dollars on a toy. There are often just as good equivalents in a lower price range, so figure out the maximum you want to spend, and work backwards from that. Rechargeable toys are always going to be at a higher price than battery operated ones, as they are often stronger and use higher quality materials, and they will usually come with warranties and guarantees in place, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be better for you. Sometimes a $15 bullet will do the job far better than a $250 rechargeable toy, so it all really depends on you, your bits, and what you want to do with them.
3. Talk To Adult Shop Staff
No-one knows more about sex toys than the people working in the adult shops. Even the weekend chick just getting herself through uni will know more than the average punter about the products in store because that’s her job. Talk to them! I do understand that for a lot of people talking about sex and masturbation can be awkward… But this is what that shop is all about! It’s not like you’re going up to Mr Tibbs the butcher and asking him what he would recommend as a beginner butt plug, or asking Mrs Franklin at the library how best to achieve a squirting orgasm! Don’t be embarrassed. They have heard it all before and can only help you when you help them by giving them all the information.
4. LISTEN to Adult Shop Staff
Okay, this is important. I can’t tell you the number of times someone has asked me for advice, I’ve asked all the right questions and given a suggestion, and then they go and buy something completely different and come back later and complain. Seriously, stop it! This is for all the advice they give you. On lubes and cleaning stuff. On how to maintain and look after it. On storage advice and hygiene. Yes, there are certain KPIs you have to reach when working in retail, but the “would you like fries with that” add ons offered in adult shops are often very necessary to the life and working of your toy, as well as the health and safety of the user. If in doubt you can always ask why they’re trying to sell it to you, but in the case of lubricants and cleaners, it’s pretty self explanatory.
5. Clean It Before You Use It And Store It Properly
This is super important. Even in a toy that has come fresh from the factory and is in a sealed box must be cleaned before you use it. Who knows what was in the air at the factory or on the hands of whoever packed it. You just don’t know. Often shop people will open boxes to test and show customers the product and then put it back on the shelf afterwards, and although we always have clean hands, I can’t speak for the customers who have looked, and again, you just never know.
It is imperative you ALWAYS use a specific sex toy cleaner. These are not expensive items (cheapest is usually around $10 or $15) and are specifically made for cleaning the materials toys are made of, as well as being ultra gentle and balanced for the intimate areas of your body where toys usually go. Do not use soaps or other cleaners as these are often not only damaging to the toy materials, but also can stuff up the delicate pH balances etc in your body and can cause all sorts of reactions and yucky stuff. Always clean it afterwards and ask the staff the best way to store it too. Many toys come with silk bags, which help keep them dust free, as well as stopping some toy materials (the see-through TPR/TPE gel ones) melting and trying to meld into another of the same material when touching (trust me, it’s gross and totally ruins your toy).
6. Online Versus In Store
Over the years I have worked for a few different companies and retailers. Some have retail stores you can walk into and others are online, and I’m often asked which is the best. There are several answers to this but I’ll narrow it down to a couple. If you know what you are buying, if you are replacing a toy or have seen a friend’s or whatever and want to get that particular product then yes, buying online can be a good option. It can often be a lot cheaper than retail and I can understand wanting to save money. If, however, you are buying a toy for the first time, or buying something you’re not 100% sure of, I definitely recommend going in store. In a shop you can look at it, touch it, feel the vibrations, see how big or thick it is, listen to how loud it is. All of these things are super important to making a purchase and are imperative to your overall satisfaction. There’s also the instant gratification of buying a toy in store. You can take it home and play straight away rather than have to wait for the package to be delivered.
I will say this, however… Please do NOT go into a store and take up the time and expertise of the staff and then go off and buy it cheaper online. This is super rude. Most stores will have an online counterpart these days anyway and are often happy to match their website prices if asked, or will often offer a slight discount on extras (like lubricant and cleaner) to keep customers happy and coming back.
7. Enjoy It!
Most sex toys these days come with multiple speeds and pulse functions, each one creating different sensations and feelings depending on where you use it. Experiment and change it up. Try a new setting! Pass it on to your partner to use on you. Tease yourself with it. See what it’s like on other parts of your body. Try new lubes and arousal products and explore all the wonderful orgasmic sensations your body can produce. It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or partnered, vanilla or kinky, old or young. Your body is yours to enjoy and explore and a sex toy is the perfect way to add a bit of spice and fun to your self love routine. Go, make yourself tingle!
All in all sex toys are an excellent personal purchase to make that should keep you happy and orgasmic for a long time, so it really is important to get the right one. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, and remember to always read the product advice and use it properly. This can be everything from removing batteries when not in use to making sure you use the right lubricant (this is mega important for toys that come with warranties. Please be aware that even if your claim has to do with something completely separate like the charger not connecting properly, if you’ve used silicone lubricant with a toy that says to use water-based, then they can void it and you can lose a lot of money!).
So get researching, get shopping, and get buzzing!! Your body, your bits and your overall sexy well-being will thank you.