Shopping for sex toys is not the sort of thing that you find many articles about in the national press and certainly not on TV. The reasons for this are obvious and what you will find is that the few articles, in print or on TV, that do appear are limited in scope and often unbalanced because the products discussed or the “expert” presenting them represents one retailer or brand.
Here at Sex Toys Buzz we do not sell sex toys and therefore are able to assess toys of almost any type. If we are physically able to test a sex toy we will try and feature it here. The only exceptions to this are toys containing Phthalates (read more about Phthalates in sex toys here), ones which we are not equipped either individually or together to test, or ones that are simply of low quality or badly designed.
That makes us the ideal people to refer to if you want to know about sex toy shopping. Who knows more about shopping for sex toys than experienced sex toy testers like us?
So, what should you look for when you are shopping for sex toys.
What Do You Want It For?
This isn’t as stupid a question as it first sounds. Sex toys can be used for foreplay, as an accompaniment to sex or for masturbation on your own or with a lover. Some toys are suitable for all of these, others more applicable to one application. Decide what you want from a toy and read a few sex toy reviews about suitable products before you begin searching for a sex toy.
Who Will Be Using It?
Will it be a toy for solo pleasure, will someone be using it to pleasure you, or you them. Maybe you will use it together? Whatever the case you should consider this before a purchase to ensure you buy a suitable product and of course making the selection with a friend will make it all the more fun, especially if you will be using the new toy together.
A sex toy, used sensibly and following the guidelines set out by the manufacturer will provide you with a safe source of pleasure. However if you have any allergies, sensitive skin or any other medical condition you should use caution. Sex toys come into contact with the most intimate parts of your body, often the delicate and permeable mucous membranes.
This means that if you have a pre-existing condition such as an allergy or sensitive skin for example you should check very carefully before purchasing a toy that it will not aggravate your condition.
Stainless steel toys are usually great toys because they are easy to clean, attractive and durable, but if you react to Nickel you should avoid them. Latex in some toys and accessories may be a problem for others.
As always using common sense will ensure you avoid toys that might cause you harm and get in the way of having fun.
While not always necessary it is often the case that using a sex toy requires more lubrication than that provided by your own body. Selecting the correct lubricant for the toy you have purchased can ensure the pleasure never stops!
Lubrication is particularly important in these situations:
- At some points in a woman’s menstrual cycle she often experiences vaginal dryness. A little lube then can ensure you and your partner can still enjoy sex.
- As women get older their vagina’s produce less lubrication. This is particularly apparent during and after the menopause. Lubrication can help ensure that nothing stops you continuing to enjoy sex as long as you want it.
- Anal sex always requires lubrication. The intestine produces only a small amount of mucous meant to aid the transit of faeces from the bowel. Without proper lubrication anal sex can be uncomfortable, painful and even dangerous. There are a range of anal lubricants available but we would NOT recommend any that contain any form of anaesthetic or numbing agents. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong and while these lubes might help relax you anus for penetration you may also find that pain signals go unnoticed until damage has been done.
Lube can also enhance your enjoyment of sex toys and your partner by either changing the sensations you feel by adjusting the viscosity of your natural fluids or adding sensation. Cooling, tingling and heating lubes are all available, just be careful not to use them in sensitive areas until you know how your body will react. Follow instructions carefully and seek medical advice should you experience a severe or prolonged reaction to these stimulating lubes.
Conversely some lubricants can reduce sensation and are often used by men to control their speed of ejaculation to increase the enjoyment for both partners by allowing each time to climax.
Getting the right size of sex toy is very important. Buy a dildo that is too small and you may be disappointed that you don’t feel filled or fulfilled. Buy a butt plug that’s too big, especially if you’re a beginner and you’ll cross the threshold from intense pleasure to acute pain.
Our advice when it comes to the right size for a sex toy is to know your own body. Don’t be too ambitious. Perhaps buy a cheaper sex toy of similar design to the one you have your eye on if it’s your very first purchase. A few pounds spent finding out if a certain size works for you could save an expensive mistake when it comes to buying a more expensive and higher quality device that just doesn’t work with your body.
As with many things in life size isn’t everything. Often shape and power/frequency of vibration may play more of a part in your enjoyment than physical size.
Chargeable Or Battery Operated
An increasing number of sex toys are now rechargeable. This has the obvious advantage of removing the need to buy batteries and therefore can be viewed as more green than using a model with replaceable batteries so long as the toy is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way at the end of its life.
There are however a few practical drawbacks with rechargeable sex toys:
- They tend to be more expensive than non-rechargeables. Set against that is the fact that these toys are usually more sophisticated than those with removable batteries.
- Depending on the charging method these toys may not be totally waterproof. If they charge via a plug-in jack plug this downgrades them to being “splash proof” and they can not be submerged in water. However many rechargeable sex toys now feature inductive charging or cleverly designed external contacts and magnetic connectors for a totally waterproof design.
- If you forget to charge them you will have to wait before using them. The first time you charge a rechargeable sex toy most will advise a charge time of anywhere between 4 and 12 hours. So you will not be able to use it straight out of the box. Subsequent recharges can take from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the toy, so again if you have a flat battery you may feel a little frustrated.
Should I Buy A Branded Product?
When buying any product a familiar name is often an indication of a certain level of quality and/or value for money. Except for the extremely cheap and extremely expensive ends of the market the “You get what you pay for” maxim does hold true and branded products are usually the most expensive of a group of comparable products.
Any company with a recognisable brand has to ensure a certain level of quality so consumers know what to expect when they buy a product bearing that name. It is therefore in their interests to ensure consistency across a brand but this consistency and quality control comes at a price.
We wouldn’t advise that you always buy branded, sometimes it’s worth it, other times it isn’t. The best advice is to read thorough and well written reviews by reviewers with a true understanding of products. That’s exactly what we provide on our site Sex Toys Buzz, informed and honest reviews to help you buy sex toys.