If the Coronavirus lockdown has had you twiddling your thumbs, you may find yourself ending up joining the thousands upon thousands of people who are hopping online to cruise around and go shopping. Quarantine and social isolation have certainly sent the hits on dating sites and the sale of sex toys booming into the stratosphere particularly with the concept of tech toys which allow two people to connect remotely via an app.
So if you are a novice or a newbie, here are some of the dos and donâts of buying sex toys.
- Do make a real effort to do your research thoroughly. This isnât about what you would prefer necessarily but about sourcing toys from authentic and reputable retailers. Some cheap foreign imports are made of jelly-like materials which are not body-safe â remember where you are going to put these!
- Look for products which have the British Kitemark and European CE mark, they wonât be the cheapest but they will be genuine, safe and tested
- Do buy a starter kit if you know the product you are after but are unsure on type, shape and sizing. These usually offer a variety of toys and you can quickly find which ones suit you best. If you buy individual toys and you are not very experienced then you can often end up having to send them back and re-order and it can take time to hit on the right one â starter kits avoid all this hassle
- Do bear in mind that bullet vibrators are recommended by lots of sites as the ideal starter toy but these are not designed to be inserted into the vagina â if you do that with it then you may end up disappointed. Bullet vibrators are designed to be used externally around the nipples, the top of the thigh and the shaft of the penis. They are a great way to introduce the concept and feel of vibrations without being invasive and they are great for clitoral stimulation and orgasms
- Do make sure you have a proprietary branded product to clean the toys with particularly if you have multiple partners. Some companies sell their own special wash but you can use warm water and soap too
- Do introduce sex toys into your relationship slowly and thoughtfully even if you are been using them solo for some time or with a previous partner.
- When you have selected a toy, read reviews and blogs on it to find out whether it is as described and whether you think it will suit you. There are sex toy testers (yes really) so it is worth reading their blogs to see what has recently tickled their fancy
- Do keep your toys somewhere warm and dry and preferably away from direct sunlight
- Do always use lubrication or âlubeâ otherwise, you will find the toy ultimately painful and disappointing. There are some funny attitudes around about lube as if using it is some kind of admission of failure but it is pretty much essential especially if you are using anal toys
- Do always clean toys before using them or use a condom
- Do retain a sense of humour especially if you and your partner are both beginners in the toy department
- Donât use oil-based lube or other oily products like essential massage oils, Vaseline and even lipstick with silicone toys or latex condoms. The effect is to degrade and ultimately destroy the product. Only use water-based lubes if your toy is made of silicone, you can use oil-based products with toys made of metal or glass
- Donât buy the biggest size available, that might just make your eyes water. Start small and work up
- Donât start with anal toys, the best first toy is always a vibratorDonât buy for your partner, love yourself first and buy for you â you can always share later on
- Donât buy cheap toys, they donât last the course and always fail at the wrong moment, they are often underpowered and can be made of materials which are not body-safe
- Donât feel ashamed or secretive if you are shopping alone even if you are in a relationship. Solo pleasure is fine and you may not feel ready to share your desires or experiences until they are a little more established
- Donât feel frightened or shy about giving your true opinion on a toy either positively or negatively
- Donât feel pressurised into using toys every time you have an encounter in the bedroom or into using them at all if your partner introduces them firstDonât go straight for a dildo, start with a bullet vibrator and then move onto a vibrator which is designed for penetrative play
- Size matters so donât give up on a toy just because it is too big or too small, try and find the right size as you could be missing out on a fantastic experience otherwise
- Donât double up something for anal play and then put it into a vagina, you can easily spread bacteria which can cause yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis or Urinary tract infections. Colour code your toys if you have a favourite so they donât get mixed up
- Donât buy toys made of non-porous materials, they are almost impossible to clean thoroughly and will harbour bacteria and germs and you could land up with an STI
- Donât deny yourself the chance of having fun with sex toys â find a way to sound out your partner so you can introduce a conversation about it. There are lots of ways to do this. Watch a film where they are using toys or suggest shopping together online for a laugh and because you are bored; this is a great way to see how he or she reacts to the subject. Or discuss the fact that you have used them with previous partners, obviously this needs to be done tactfully so there is no element of comparison or implied pressure
- Donât give up too quickly â toys can take time to get used to particularly if neither you or your partner have used them before
- Donât stop being curious and experimenting and pushing your boundaries