Q & A
Just like sex, there are SO MANY types of toys and even more ways to enjoy them. Need a breakdown of our sex gadgets? Here we'll answer your most common sex toy questions.
How long have people actually been using adult toys?
If you think that sex toys are a product of our decadent modern world, guess again. German archeologists recently unearthed a "highly-polished" siltstone dildo that was created over 28,000 years ago. (Apparently, even Neaderthals had "special" needs apart from food and shelter.)
Ancient texts from around the world, including tales from The Arabian Nights, reference fruit, vegetables, and other phallic objects being used for sexual gratification.
Even in the sexually repressive Victorian Era, Doctor's administered pelvic massages to female patients with steam-powered dildos to relieve "female hysteria."
As you can see, sex toys have forever been a part of the human experience and will continue to do so as long as human beings want to get off!
What’s the percentage of women who use sex toys?
If a woman doesn't admit she uses a vibrator, there's a pretty good chance she's fibbing! People spend over 15 BILLION a year on sex toys. According to a world-wide Durex study, between 60% and 80% percent of all women use sex toys.
And don't assume that sex toys are only for the lonely - 78% of women who use or have used a sex toy are in a relationship and married women are more than twice as likely to use a vibrator.
There are Dongs, Dildos, Vibrators, Personal Massagers, and "Marital Aids?" What’s the difference?
A DILDO is a phallus-shaped item designed to provide sexual pleasure through vaginal or anal penetration, not clitoral stimulation. Though they are cylindrical in nature, the size and shape of dildos can vary greatly.
When you add a set of testicles to a Dildo, it magically becomes a DONG.
Put a vibrating motor in a dildo and it becomes, you guessed it, a VIBRATOR. Vibrators offer more targeted stimulation and are often used to arouse the clitoris.
A PERSONAL MASSAGER is a polite euphemism for a vibrator.
As for the antiquated and extremely icky MARITAL AID, it's not referring to a gift card at Target. (See all of the above.)
What makes a vibrator vibrate?
What makes a vibrator do its thing? It's called "Centrifugal Force."
Here's how it works: Vibrators contain a small, off-center weight (like a ball bearing.)
The motor inside the vibrator rapidly spins the weight, which causes the vibrator to move back and forth in a shaking motion. Because the vibrations originate at the motor, the most intense vibrations occur where it is located.
A larger weight tends to create stronger vibration, which explains why sex toy size does matter when it comes to vibration strength.
Can I get “numb” from using a vibrator?
If you've googled scary, incorrect terms like 'dead vagina syndrome" take a deep breath and repeat after me: MY VIBE WILL NOT WRECK MY V!
Applying strong, direct pressure on any part of the body can cause the surrounding tissue to feel “numb” but this is only a temporary condition - not nerve damage.
To prevent numbness, try limiting direct contact by placing a towel, sheet or blanket between you and the vibrator. Or, you can try varying the pressure.
Many women find that “pausing” the vibration in varying 2-second increments can also help.
Why on earth would I want to stick something up my butt?
Great question. Let us say one thing first: When done safely and properly, anal sex can increase your risk for having a really good time.
Anal orgasms are also something you can enjoy regardless of gender, orientation, or genitalia.
If you have a vagina, anal play can internally stimulate the A-spot to create "profound, molten-hot sensations" that feel very different from vaginal penetration.
if you have a penis, anal play can stimulate the Prostate (or P-Spot), delivering an full-body climax that's reportedly 33% more intense than a penile orgasm.
With all this butt play you'd think everybody is down to clown- Right? Not exactly. Just like cilantro, not everybody likes it.
If you've tried anal and didn't enjoy it, don't feel bad. Anal is just one of the many options on the sexual menu that you should never feel pressured into ordering.
If someone tries to bully you into anal sex, tell them to (literally) shove it!
What are the different type of anal toys?
The most common type of anal toys are Beads, Plugs and Probes. Here's how they work:
Anal Beads: Great for backdoor beginners, butt beads start very small at the tip and grow slightly larger and larger as you get closer to the base, allowing you to gradually step up your game.
Try leaving them inserted during foreplay, masturbation, oral or vaginal sex. Then, ever-so-slowly pull them out during climax to send your orgasm into the stratosphere.
Butt Plugs: Plugs come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit every level of backdoor experience. They generally have narrow tips that get progressively wider toward the middle and then narrow again to a slim neck at the base so your rectum can contain them comfortably.
Like beads, they are typically designed to remain in place during sex and foreplay.
Probes: Built for in-and-out thrusting and pegging, these toys are used exactly like dildos. So why not just use a dildo? Simple: Because not all dildos have a flared base.
Products designed for anal penetration are designed to stay anchored firmly outside of your body to prevent it from becoming lost inside you.
Regardless of what anal toy you decide on, remember that lubricant is not optional - it's a must. So before you insert anything into the anus, whether it be a finger, toy, or penis, slather it in lube.
What type of materials should I choose for my anal toys?
If you prefer a softer, flexible product, Medical-Grade Silicone is one of the best sex toy materials around. Silicone is inert, meaning that it doesn't change over time, isn't porous and does not contain body-toxic phthalates.
Non-vibrating silicone anal toys can be sterilized by placing in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or soaked in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
Other soft materials like Cyberskin, Elastomer, and TPR feel amazingly flexible, but have the disadvantage of being highly porous and difficult to clean.
If you already have toys made from these materials, try covering them with a condom before play.
Beware of cheaper butt toys made of PVC, Rubber, Latex and Jelly, since they can contain harmful substances like phthalates.
If you're looking for firmer stimulation there's nothing wrong with plain ol' ABS plastic. Cheap, non-porous and body-safe, hard plastic gets the job done and translates vibrations beautifully.
Borosilicate Glass is a popular material for anal toys because of its versatility, functionality and beauty. Glass can be warmed up in a bowl of warm water or cooled down in ice water to deliver unique pleasure sensations during butt play.
Like Silicone, Glass is completely free of phthalates and potential "body baddies" Additionally, it is 100% recyclable making it an earth-friendly sex toy material.
What can I do to make sure anal play doesn't hurt?
One of the common misconceptions is that anal sex will hurt. As long as you lubricate, take it slow, and relax, anal sex should never be painful.
Here's a few basic rules to keep your anal game on point:
1. Start small! Despite what porn movies might lead you to believe, there's no need to rush from super-beginner to super-freak. A finger or a beginner's-sized plug is a great way to get your back side used to penetration.
2. Lube it up. When it comes to anal sex, there's no such thing as too much lubrication.
Unlike the vagina, the anus is not self-lubricating and is more prone to bruising and tearing. That means it's essential to ALWAYS use plenty of lube and reapply often.
3. Don't force it. "No Pain No Gain" is a concept that belongs in the gym, not your asshole. Take things slowly, relax, and BREATHE. Tension is bad news for your bum.
Increased arousal makes anal sex far easier so adding other stimulation to the mix (oral sex, hand jobs or vibration) is a great way to get things rolling.
DON'T use numbing creams. While it might seem like a good idea, pain is your body's way of saying "Stop!" If done correctly, Anal sex should never hurt.
Why should I use Lube?
LUBE is the unsung hero of sex!
From easing uncomfortable friction to rescuing you when a condom dries up, there's no limit to what it can add to sex. And nope, you do not need to be post-menopausal to benefit from its slippery embrace - lube is for literally EVERYONE.
Unfortunately, many people (particularly women) are lube-shamed for using it at all. This is based on the often incorrect theory that wetness directly correlates to a woman's ability to become aroused.
Let's just squirt that theory down the drain: Many factors can impact a woman's natural lubrication that are completely out of her control like dehydration, oral contraceptives, hormone levels and stress.
Many women are afraid of being labeled as sexually frigid if they want to use lube, but do you know what's really UNsexy? Chafing and painful sex.
Lube is your friend! But the best part about lube is that it’s not used solely for the purpose of combating discomfort - it just makes everything feel better!
What are the different types of Lube?
The 3 most popular types of Lubricants are Silicone, Water-Based and Hybrids. Here's how they work:
Water-Based Lubricants - Water-Based products are compatible with most sex toys and condoms, but not all water-based lubes are the same.
Glycerine is a common ingredient that shows up in most drugstore brands like Astroglide and KY Jelly. A water-attracting humectant known for its slippery feel and lightly sweet taste, Glycerine is the lubrication go-to.
Glycerine's disadvantages are that it requires frequent reapplication since it tends to dry faster and (cue the record scratch) may also contribute to the overgrowth of vaginal yeast.
Glycerine-Free Lubricants like Divine 9 and Sliquid Oceanics are a safer bet since they're far less likely to cause irritation. Let's keep our lady bits happy, shall we?
Silicone-Based Lubricants - Need something seriously slick that will go the distance? Silicone-based lubricants last the longest out of any lubricant and will hold up to marathon sex and masturbation sessions.
While Silicone isn't anything close to "natural" it is hypoallergenic and inert, which means it sits on top of the skin without absorbing into the mucous membranes. This factor makes it a super-safe bet for anal sex.
Silicone's disadvantages are that it does not play well with others (and by others we mean most soft sex toys. ) Glass, ABS plastic and metal sex toys are A-OK.
Hybrid Lubes - Want the best of both worlds? Compatible with silicone, latex, and every kind of sex, Hybrid lubricants are safe to pour just about anything but pizza.
That's because Hybrid's are water-based lubricants that contain just enough silicone to make them thicker, richer and longer lasting.
How do Arousal Gels work?
Sexual arousal is completely dependent on blood flow. In short, Poor circulation = Game Over.
Arousal Gels are designed to counteract this by maximizing blood flow to the areas where they are applied.
Female Arousal Gels are designed to be rubbed on the top, around the sides and underneath the hood of the clitoris. This stimulates sensitivity and creates a gentle warming/cooling feeling that can increase sensation during sex or masturbation
Unlike Delay Creams, Male Arousal Gels are applied to the Penis Head and Shaft to increase blood flow and heighten sensitivity.
These products yield different outcomes for different people, ranging from mild to wild sensations, to nothing at all. Considering the fact that our largest sexual organ is the brain, unlocking desire may mean far more than simply going skin-deep.
Can I use Vaseline as a lubricant?
NO. Christ, who hurt you?
“You know what it's called? A selfie!"
- Barbara Walters (About her vibrator)