At the Beginning...
At the beginning of 2009, the only sex toy I owned was a vibrator, and sadly, even it was collecting dust. That is, until my libido—which I thought was on permanent vacation—came roaring back into town stoked up and looking for steady action. My husband was thrilled—at first, but he quickly realized he couldn’t keep up. So I decided to take things into my own hands, literally.
Walk into a sex toy store and just start shopping? I was way too embarrassed for that…and even if I got up the nerve, what was I supposed to ask for? Thank God for the Internet. A little Googling brought me to EdenFantasys: a place where I could feel safe shopping, that posted reviews by real people to help me make smart purchasing decisions. Long story short: I ordered one thing, which led to another… and another. Soon, I was reviewing products on a regular basis. In one year, I went from a one-toy novice to a top-ten advanced reviewer—and my collection is threatening to take over my bedroom.
Sure, there was a bit of trial and error at first—mostly because I didn’t know what my personal preferences were yet. That’s always something that needs to be taken into consideration when recommending a toy: Like everything else in this world, we all like different things. But that’s what experimentation is for. I found I liked things that at one time, I’d never have even considered. For instance, if you’d asked me a year ago, I’d have said, “Dildo? Dildo schmildo. I only like vibrators.” Boy was I wrong! I now own eight of ’em. Anal toys? I used to think, No way, José! Until I saw some anal beads getting a workout in a video my husband and I were watching. I didn’t even know things like that existed! Well suffice to say, I’ve collected a whole new set of keys to unlock my back door.
I’ll bet there are a lot of you who are where I was a year ago. You’re curious, but have no idea where to begin. So, for those who seek a little help getting started, please allow me to be your toy guru and tour guide. Again, the most important thing to remember is to find what works for you. I can start you on the journey of discovery—the rest is up to you.
Let’s begin with vibrators. There are so many to choose from, I know it can be intimidating. For the most part, though, you can break them down into those made for internal versus those for external use.
Internal vibrators are geared toward vaginal stimulation, but many can be used externally, as well. The most recognizable is a traditional vibe, such as Lacey’s Jammer, which reminds me of my first vibrator. (In fact, I still own and love one that’s very similar. Basic can be just as effective as “full bells and whistles.”) These have a dial base for a variety of vibration strengths, and are waterproof—which can mean lots of fun in the tub or shower. If you think you might want to start out with something a bit smaller and more slender, however, the Waterproof Turbo Glider Blueberry is an excellent choice.
You’ve probably seen some vibrators that have a curve at the tip. For those who may be wondering, that curve is for G-spot stimulation. The G-spot is an erogenous zone usually located at the top of the vagina, about one to three inches up. Some women know exactly where theirs is, and others have more difficulty locating it, but once found, the orgasms it can create are amazing. The Lelo Gigi is a very intuitive G-spot finder. It’s also rechargeable and made of body-safe silicone. If your budget dictates something a bit less expensive to start out with, the Marble Slimline G is also a good option.
Clitoral vibrators are a favorite for many women, and with good reason. As mentioned earlier, internal vibes can pull double duty and be used to tickle the pearl, however smaller ones specifically designed with the clit in mind can be used as an exciting addendum to intercourse.
Many clit vibes are diminutive and discreet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pack a big punch. The Armor Piercing Bullet by Evolved Novelties is only 2 ½ inches long, runs on watch batteries, and has five different functions that take it from “Yum” to “Wow.” Another popular variation is the pocket rocket. Slightly larger than a bullet, these typically run on AA batteries, and their vibrations are a bit stronger and deeper.
For the adventurous, try a “rabbit”—the vibe that does it all. Most rabbits have a couple of buttons to control the rotation speed of the shaft and beads for internal stimulation, and the vibration intensity for clitoral pleasure. Though there are many to choose from, the Platinum Jack Rabbit is one of my favorites. Besides being an outstanding performer, how can you resist all that bling? For a more basic bunny, take a look at the Rosebud. This lovely little number is made of body-friendly silicone and is very simple to use.
Dildo Boot Camp
Sometimes you may find yourself in the mood for something a bit more “realistic” that doesn’t vibrate. For that, there are dildos in all shapes, sizes, textures and materials. They can be straight or curved, large or small. Some look like the real deal, while others resemble works of art.
So where do you start?
I would suggest you begin with a medium sized silicone dildo. The Bandito by Fun Factory is a beauty to behold. It boasts ethereal swirls that can easily be felt while thrusting, and it has the perfect G-spot curve. For an extra jolt of pleasure, try it in conjunction with a clit vibe.
For those who like the feel of something a bit firmer, glass is a great way to go. Made from tempered glass similar to Pyrex, these dildos are extremely safe and some of the most aesthetically appealing on the market. The Lucid Heart with its stunning, simple design is great example. Glass can be warmed or cooled for a little temperature fun, and completely sterilized.
Butt of Course
If you’re ready to adventure into anal territory, anal beads are a good first toy. The Flexi Felix (made of 100 percent silicone that can be easily sterilized) is a cute little guy composed of a solid strand of five oval beads. These are wonderful for partnered sex as a part of foreplay and during the act. For my money, the best part about them is having your lover slowly remove them, one by one, as you climax.
Butt Plugs are a joy to use in tandem with a vibrator or dildo during a little quality alone or in shared company. If you’d like to test one out, the Bootie is small enough for beginners, but you’ll definitely know it’s there. It has a nice little curve at the tip that can be easily felt by both partners during intercourse.
Lube Conquers All
Probably the most important product for anyone—beginners to experts—to stock up on is a high-quality, water-based lubricant. (While silicone and oil-based lubes are excellent for their intended usage, they can degrade and eventually destroy certain toys and are not recommended for use with condoms.) You want something that’ll last through a whole session without drying up; that feels natural, and doesn’t get interfere with sensations. My preference is for those with no flavor, or that at least doesn’t taste bad, just in case.
You may find you need something a bit more heavy duty for anal play. I highly recommend Maximus. It comes in a convenient eight-ounce pump bottle, and a little goes a long way. Another excellent option is KamaSutra Love Liquid. Although the consistency is a bit thinner, it feels completely natural.
And so ends our first foray into the practically limitless world of sex toys. Don’t be daunted. If you start out slow, take your time, and learn your preferences, the road to self-discovery can take you to places you’ve never even dreamed of. And the detours? Well, that’s just part of the fun!