If you enter “what are sex toys” into a search engine, you’ll get bombarded with information.
It can all be a little overwhelming if you’re just starting out. If you have no clue about the ins and outs of shopping for your first sex toy, we’re here to help.
We’ve got a comprehensive sex toy guide to make everything easy to understand and give you every last detail in a way that won’t boggle your brain.
By the end of this article you’ll be a pro at picking out the best toy for every situation and how to properly care for your sexy new accessories.
Sex Toys 101: Everything You NEED to Know About Buying Sex Toys
While you can feel free to go browsing your local sex shop or perusing through some internet retailers, you might get lost in a sea of dildos and vibrators. Those might not even be the best toys for your needs.
Knowledge is power, so let’s get to school on everything you NEED to know with our sex toy advice before we set you on your shopping spree.
This sex toy guide covers everything about how to use sex toys, from anal beads to wands and everything between. Buying sex toys has never been so simple.
What is a sex toy?
A sex toy is a toy meant for the purposes of sexual stimulation, arousal, and/or orgasm.
They come in many shapes and sizes and have various features (both mechanically and technically speaking). Sex toy materials are different based on the application they are intended for and have improved over the years. Charging features and water protection are almost standard these days.
While the majority of sex toys are designed for the vagina, clitoris, penis, or anus, most can be used on anyone’s body regardless of gender and sexual organs.
If you want specific details on different toy categories, we’ll share the sex toys 101 knowledge to cover just about every type and some sex toy tips to get the most out of your experience.
Benefits of sex toys (why people need them)
There are countless reasons why people choose to use sex toys. The benefits of sex toys really can’t be denied.
Here are just some of the reasons you should consider using them:
- Sex toys can be brought into a relationship or used for solo-sex acts either to heighten your pleasure and improve your orgasms.
- Whether a relationship has gone stale or a health issue has come into play, there’s a sex toy to liven things up or to help you overcome what you’re facing.
- Using sex toys can also provide you with improved physical and mental health in the same way as sex without using toys.
Sex toy positions
There aren’t any specific sex toy positions per say, because every toy is different as are you and your partner’s bodies.
You have to do what feels good and what’s comfortable for you.
Not everyone wants to be twisted up like a pretzel, but others are totally down for splits and spread-eagles. Talk to your partner about readjusting yourself if something doesn’t feel right.
A sex toy should NEVER be painful to use unless that is part of your kink (whips, ties, gags, and more are also part of a healthy sex life for some).
Whether you’re flat on your back or down on your knees, don’t be afraid to get creative with your sex toys.
One thing that may help you enjoy your sex toys even more is a good lubricant. Find more on that at the end of our sex toy guide section featuring the different kinds of sex toys.
Discovering the best sex toy for you
We’re about to get into the rundown of individual toys with distinctive purposes. Before we do, let’s talk YOU. Everyone’s body is unique. This means that we all have different needs and desires in the realm of sexual stimulation.
Some like a gentle vibrating hum, while others prefer earthquake-status rumbles. Some like internal stimulation, but others want external touch only.
Trying out a few different beginners’ toys in each category can help you decide your preference for yourself.
Buying sex toys doesn’t have to be scary. If your first toy doesn’t live up to your expectations, don’t be afraid to try again with something completely different.
Use our sex toy guide below to explore your options.
What Are The Different Types of Sex Toys?
This sex toy guide covers the basic categories of sex toys to get you started. Please note that within each category are subcategories in addition to varying sex toy materials. We won’t cover every single subcategory, or else this blog would turn into a novel.
While this basic sex toy guide covers a lot, it is not all-encompassing. You may find yourself excited to try something new, but there’s also a whole world of classic sex toys to choose from.
Dildos are sex toys that generally (but not always) resembles a penis.
They come in virtually every size, shape, and color you can possibly imagine. Looking for a giant purple glass dildo? There’s one out there for you somewhere.
While you can stimulate yourself with a dildo externally, they are also meant to be inserted into the vagina or anus.
Dildos have become so versatile that you can use them almost anywhere...
- Suction cups on the bottom of a dildo allow you to get easy bend-over action in the shower.
- Double-ended dildos let you both get in on the action at the same time.
- Strap-on dildos allow a person to wear a phallic appendage perfect for pleasing their partner.
If your partner and you have hit a rut in your lovemaking, a dildo might be the perfect sex toy pick.
Within this category is an entire list of subcategories.
We’re just going to stick to the basics, but we encourage you to keep your mind open to different shapes and styles. Some vibrators are phallic in shape and size, perfect for gliding into the vagina or anus. Others are meant for external stimulation, like vibrating nipple clamps or finger vibrators.
Regardless of shape or function, their commonality is a vibration feature.
Massage wands and clitoral vibrators are meant for external stimulation and feature varying shapes, sizes, and materials. If you want something that can stimulate you or your partner both internally and externally simultaneously, go for a rabbit vibrator.
We also recommend a vibrator with setting options that let you control pulses and speeds.
This type of sex toy is meant for insertion into the anus. They can be used by any sex or gender and amongst any kind of relationship makeup.
Butt plugs are also great for solo play. There are sizes to accommodate every level of thickness and length you might prefer, but most start small and work their way up to the big poppas.
Various shapes make stimulation achievable for everyone. Most feature a bulb shape, while others come in phallic or wand styles.
Butt plugs are made of just about any material other sex toys come in, like silicones, glass, or metals.
If you want a wilder experience, you can find butt plugs that vibrate or even ones that feature animal tails. Who wouldn’t want to be a sexy bunny with a fluffy cottontail?
‘Cause if you like it, then you shoulda put a cock ring on it! But seriously, if you like holding out longer, use cock rings.
This small ring goes around the base of the penis and/or the scrotum, restricting blood flow. This can make the penis harder and sometimes look larger and thicker. Some cock rings have extra rings for your testicles.
The best cock rings for a relationship allow your penis to pack on a powerful vibrator that both of you get to enjoy.
Even though silicone cock rings are stretchy, you should never try to put one on when you’re already hard. The same can be said for metal one because you could injure yourself. Talk about pain! Don’t wear one for more than 20 minutes, and make sure you have the right size.
It couldn’t be any simpler than that, which gives cock rings an advantage over (at times) complicated sex toys.
Another toy for the bros, strokers are a male masturbator that simulates a vagina, anus, or mouth for solo sex toy fun.
Some have even been molded after your favourite celebrities and porn stars. You might also hear certain strokers called Fleshlights or pocket pussys.
We recommend getting a high-quality lube to get the best out of your own male masturbator. Different strokes for different folks? Check out sex dolls for a totally unique experience that is bound to satisfy.
Suction toys include any kind of sex toy with a sucking feature. Most commonly, they’re meant for the clitoris, nipples, and penis.
You might see the words “air pulse,” “pressure wave,” “suction,” “pump,” “vacuum,” or “stimulator” all used to describe suction toys.
Since the clitoris contains nerves like those found in the penis, it’s no wonder it enjoys the same kind of sucking sensations you’d receive from oral sex.
Some suction toys have a vibrator for internal stimulation at the same time. Count me in!
Anal beads are different than butt plugs, but they’re definitely related. Anal beads are great to have in your sexy toolkit for those who enjoy butt play, and can expand on a variety of sensations.
This type of sex toy features a string or wand of individual balls/beads. In most cases they are smaller at one end and gradually increase in size as you move down the strand. Past the largest bead is typically a loop for a secure grip.
By starting with the smallest bead, you can gradually increase as your comfort levels allow. They are usually made from an easy-to-clean silicone, but there are other materials, like metal and glass, on the market.
Glass and metal wands
Some people enjoy a different sensation from silicone. For starters, these materials are firm, unlike their softer silicone counterparts.
Glass and metal sex toys can be warmed or chilled before use for those seeking a change in temperature. Metal sex toys are heavier than glass or silicone.
Just like with silicone dildos, glass and metal ones can come in phallic shapes or twisty ones or straight ones.
Metal wands are traditionally steel or aluminum. Glass ones can come in every color you could imagine. Some even glow in the dark or under blacklight! Ridges and bumps and tapers, oh my!
There are even double-ended glass and metal wands, so you can both get in on the action.
A word on lubricants
This wouldn’t be a sex toy guide without discussing lubes.
The vagina provides its own moisture. Some experience a need for extra lubrication before getting it on, but this isn’t true for everyone. Lubricants can enhance your sex toy pleasuring, especially for anal play.
In fact, you run the risk of discomfort or even injury if you don’t provide the right environment for your toy to glide into.
So, what kind of lube do you use?
It depends a lot on your preference but mostly on what your toy is made from.
You should never use a silicone-based lubricant with a silicone toy. Silicone interacts with silicone, meaning it will eat away at the surface. This will leave behind pitting or tearing in your toy’s surface, which is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck!
Water-based lubes are a safe bet for most toys but will evaporate faster, sometimes leaving behind some stickiness.
If you don’t mind reapplying this could be just fine for you. If you’d rather have something that is a one-and-done deal, try a silicone-based lube (when you’re not using a silicone sex toy of course).
Only use oil-based lubes externally, which makes them great for massages or handjobs for the guys.
Sex toy alternatives
There are many sex toy alternatives you can find in your own home.
Still, you should use caution in inserting anything that is not tested and approved for those uses.
For example, the handle of your hairbrush could have a porous surface prone to bacteria growth.
When finding a sex toy alternative, use your common sense and best judgement. Some people have resorted to using food, vibrating toothbrushes, and more to satisfy their urges.
We kindly URGE you to find a satisfying product made specifically for sex that will fit your budget. It’s much better than getting an infection or injury.
8 Questions About Sex Toys (You Were Afraid to Ask)
We know there are a few questions you’re nervous about asking. That’s okay. Talking about sex can make some people uncomfortable, so your hesitation is understandable.
PinkCherry is a safe space in learning everything you need to know about how to safely enjoy your sex toys to their fullest extent.
Our Sex Toys 101 section covered the basics, but maybe you still have questions.
While we’re sure our sex toy advice on all the different types of toys was helpful, here’s what we might have left out:
1. What are sex toys?
Think of sex toys as your tools for sex.
Sure, you can build something without lots of fancy do-dads, but it’s a whole lot easier and more enjoyable if you have tools to make it easier. The same can be said for sex.
Sometimes a little extra stimulation (or a lot more) makes sex more intense with prolonged orgasms. Sex toys allow you to better your sex life in a safe and healthy way.
2. How to use sex toys?
You can honestly use sex toys in whatever way works for you.
There’s no easy answer to this question because every toy is different, and everyone’s preferences are different.
We recommend that you use toys according to their specific instructions to avoid injuries. See our individual sex toy guide above for some specifics in each category.
3. How to hide sex toys?
Learning how to hide sex toys is an important aspect of owning them.
If you live with your family or have children, this topic gains even more respect. You’ll want to hide your toys in a location that makes them easy to access but out of eyesight.
A bedside table drawer is a popular location, but if you have curious kiddos, you may want somewhere less conspicuous. Shoeboxes make for a non-obvious disguise.
If you’re looking for something higher in quality, PinkCherry offers sex toy storage options perfect for figuring out how to hide sex toys in your own home.
When storing your sex toys, always make sure they are cleaned first. Check on your sex toy materials for proper storage snafus.
Don’t store silicone toys together, since silicone interacts with silicone. This leads to damage and potential bacteria growth.
4. How old do you have to be to buy sex toys?
In most countries, you must be over the age of 18 to purchase sex toys.
While you might think you’ve found a way around it, don’t do it. Buying sex toys is illegal in Canada when you’re under 18.
5. How to clean sex toys?
You should always clean your sex toys after use!
You can use soap and water or choose an approved sex toy cleaner. If you don’t, you run the risk of infections and other health issues. How to clean sex toys you own is up to you as far as what products you use.
There are mists, foaming formulas, antibacterial cleansers, green-based products, and more.
After cleaning, make sure your toy is thoroughly dried. You can use a microfiber towel to keep your toys lint-free.
6. What are sex toys made from?
Just like there are too many different toys to name in one article, there are varying materials.
The most common are metal, glass, and silicone.
Make sure you know what your toys are made from to use the correct lubes and cleaning regimens.
Don’t forget about proper storage! If I haven’t made it clear enough yet, silicone to silicone = bad.
Some people have allergies and sensitivities to different materials, so it’s also helpful to know what your sex toy is made of to avoid any adverse reactions.
7. Recycling sex toys?
Recycling sex toys is an iffy topic. While there’s nothing that legally prevents you from passing a toy you didn’t enjoy onto someone else, there are health concerns.
Before giving your used sex toy to someone else, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and that you’ve cared for it properly. While most STIs will die on a surface after so much time has passed, you can’t be too careful with this consideration.
Recycling sex toys through your local recycling center is an option for some materials, like glass and aluminum.
If your toy has a motor, you can’t just chuck it in the recycling bin. There are several companies that will take your used sex toys to repurpose some of the electronic components.
8. Where to buy sex toys?
Now that you know everything there is to know on getting started, you’re probably wondering where to buy sex toys.
You can go to a local adult novelty store near you to see a wide variety of sex toys up-close and personal. Read the online reviews to find a store that carries the products you’re looking for or give the store a call beforehand if necessary.
If you’d rather shop online, there are many places you can purchase sex toys through the interwebs. Just be sure you are making your purchases through a reputable retailer.
If you’re reading this blog, you’ve already found one of the best online sex stores Canada has to offer: PinkCherry! Check out some sex toy facts like the ones we’ve covered to lead you in the right direction on picking a category to shop from.
Shop for your next toy with PinkCherry
Buying sex toys doesn’t have to be a scary ordeal.
Follow our sex toy advice above to discover everything you need to know before making that first purchase. Don’t forget to learn what to do with your toys once you have them home.
Hopefully, our sex toy guide has opened your eyes to a whole host of new products to test out and fall in love with. Trust PinkCherry to cover all your sex toy shopping needs!