Are you in a new relationship and beginning to explore your sexual boundaries? In a long-term relationship and seeking to spice up your sex? Quarantined away from your lover and wondering how you can keep the flame alive from afar? All of these questions have the same, simple answer: sex toys.
Playing with sex toys is one of the most fun and creative ways to add pizazz to your playtime, and many couples notice that playing with new toys actually helps them grow intimacy, too.
But if it’s your first time using sex toys in your relationship, you might not know where to start. Even if you’re familiar with couples’ toys, if you’ve blinked for even a second, you may be overwhelmed—and a bit intimidated—to see the choices of toys that are now available. From dildos to rings to plugs to vibes, it might take a little perusing to figure out which toys are right for you. And with an estimated worth of $35.5 billion USD by 2023, the sex toy industry is exploding, meeting lovers’ every whim with new types of toys invented every year.
A Brief History
Before we begin, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and quickly dispel any embarrassment you may feel about your desire to have your partner pound you with a 10-inch dildo.
Believe it or not, the first sex toys we have evidence of date back to the reign of China’s first emperor in 221 B.C.
Fast forward two millennia, and not much had changed except the advent of electricity: In the 1880s, Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville and his colleagues used the first electro-mechanical vibrator to treat “hysterical” women, having determined that the 40-pound-battery-powered machine was more efficient than doctors’ hands at helping women achieve “hysterical paroxysms” (read: old-fashioned orgasms).
In fact, the vibrator was the fifth home appliance to be electrified! It actually beat the vacuum cleaner and electric iron by almost 10 years, proving that humans have always preferred getting dirty to cleaning up.
So, in 2020 it only makes sense that we now have not only battery-powered sex toys, but also those that can be bluetooth-paired with your smart phone for “remote control” operation, if you catch our drift.
Talking to Your Partner About What They Like
Hopefully by now, you feel comfortable embracing your inner kink and are ready to figure out which sex toys are ideal for your and your bedmate. But before you begin shopping, it might be helpful to have a conversation with your partner about what turns them on, so that you can buy toys that will help you both feel comfortable and achieve your wildest fantasies.
If you’re unsure whether your partner is interested in playing with toys, or if you’re having difficulty starting that conversation, check out this handy guide to initiating sex with your partner. By asking each other a few simple yet illuminating questions about how you like to be propositioned, you’ll get a much better idea of what style of toys will suit your play.
When it comes to choosing what sex toys will please you and your partner, we think that shopping is almost as hot as actually using them. Touching each toy, feeling the strength of its vibrations, and watching your partner get turned on is half the fun!
But we also recognize that for some people, visiting a sex shop and perusing the merchandise might feel embarrassing or overwhelming. If that statement resonates with you, then shopping for your sex toys online might be your perfect alternative. Plus, when you can shop for sex toys from bed with your lover, you might find that you start fooling around before you even finish filling up your virtual shopping cart!
One excellent and expansive online sex shop is Tantalize Me, the UK’s premier online retailer for hetero- and queer-friendly couples’ toys.
Choosing Your Toys
Well, you made it! You’re finally here, ready to dive into the nuts (pun intended) and bolts of couples’ sex toys that will add spice, kink, and intimacy to your relationship. But where to begin? What toys should you choose?
If you’re new to shopping for sex toys, fear not—you’re in luck! Tantalize Me has created an easy way for couples to shop for toys by creating Collection Boxes designed specifically for partner play.
We’ve included below a list of a few collection boxes that are great starter packs for couples that want to try out a few different toys at the same time. And if you already know what genre of toys you’re looking for, you can build your own box with some of the best-selling toys on the market!
LELO Gift Box
This couples collection box is a personal favourite, as it contains all of our preferred aphrodisiacs: two toys from award-winning sex toy brand LELO, deluxe lubricant, and a book of jaw-dropping, erotic photography.
Queer Women’s Gift Box
If you and your honey are looking for the types of toys that will deliver earth-shattering orgams, look no further. This gift box for women is basically your answer to… well, everything. Containing the full spectrum of female pleasure toys, this gift box will take you and your woman to new orgasmic dimensions.
Gay Men’s Gift Box
Curated specifically with men in mind, this gents’ collection box features excellent toys from premier men’s sexy toy brands Colt and Rocks-Off. With a premium quality butt plug, ball gag, straps, restraints, anal gel, and HEX condoms, this box is your ticket to paradise.
Toys For Women
Maybe you’ve been playing with toys for a while and you know what you’re after. Keep reading to see our list of recommended sex toys to use on your female partner.
Rocks-Off 80mm Rainbow Bullet
Let your queer self shine with Rocks-Off’s limited edition 80mm rainbow bullet. Modeled off the brand’s best-selling 80mm bullet, this new and improved design is updated with seven vibrational settings and a 100% waterproof design. Extremely affordable and straightforward to use, this is a great first vibe to test out with your babe.
If you’re looking for a toy with a little more “oomph” than your standard vibrator, check out HappyRabbit’s strapless strap-on. With 15 vibration modes in the shaft and three in the “ears,” this wearable toy is a great option if you’re looking for both vaginal and clitoral stimulation that will make you get busy like bunnies. It is also fully waterproof, allowing for easy cleaning and steamy shower play.
LELO Gigi 2
O-M-Gigi! You know those stories you hear women tell of their ejaculatory orgasms? Well, this is how they get there. Revolutionizing female orgasms for years, LELO finally developed the g-spot vibrator of our dreams: the Gigi 2. This toy has both a curved and flattened tip, which can be used internally for g-spot stimulation or externally as a clitoral massager. With its versatile tip and four settings delivering different types of vibrational patterns, this toy will keep you and your partner experimenting for hours on end.
Toys For Men
No bedroom play session is complete with the proper cock ring and butt plug. Lucky for you, IBEX makes both. Enter, the MEN-X: an ergonomically crafted and nodule-textured cock ring and butt plug that will drive your partner to his apex of ecstasy. Both toys have 10 powerful vibration functions and are made with 100% waterproof material for easy cleaning.
LELO Tor 2
The Tor 2 by LELO is the perfect toy to make him quake. If you thought he had weak knees before, wait until you see how he shakes when he orgasms wearing this vibrating cock ring. It has six distinct settings, from murmur to pulse, and is conveniently made from 100% waterproof, allowing you to play wherever you want.
LELO Tiani 3
Behold, our favourite couples toy: LELO’s divine Tiani 3. If you haven’t heard of it yet, this toy is the world-famous, remote-controlled couples’ massager that delivers vibrations from two separate arms: one internal and one external. Due to its wireless SenseMotion technology, this toy can be used hands-free, to deliver intense pleasure at the flick of a wrist.
Satisfyer Partner Multifun
It just doesn’t get more versatile than Satisfyer’s multi-functional couples vibrator. Although seemingly simple at first, this partner toy has three engines: one upper motor in the main body and one in each of the lower arms, with the upper and lower motors able to be controlled separately. With 10 vibrational programs for each, you can create as many as 100 different vibrational combinations, meaning it’ll be a long time before you and your honey tire of this toy.
A Final Word: Caring For Your Toys
No guide to sex toys would be complete without a quick word about safety, and how to clean and maintain your sex toys.
Cleaning Your Toys
Trust us, we understand that cleaning your sex toys is probably the last thing on your mind after you’ve been floating in the heavens of a mind-blowing orgasm. However, it is important.
The unfortuate truth of the matter is that the vagina, penis, and rectum harbor a myriad of bacteria, all of which can transfer to your sex toy and linger there, ready to cause infection if the toy isn’t properly cleaned before its next use. But how to clean your toys depends on what they’re made of.
Here’s a quick sex toy cleaning guide created by our friends at Women’s Health, that will help you determine the best practices for washing your toys. If you don’t know what material your toy is made of, check the box it came in or the manufacturer’s website.
Silicone, Glass, Stainless Steel, or Wood—and it's motorized
Use any mild antibacterial soap that you'd use on your body. Dampen a cloth, add some soap, and wipe the toy clean.
Silicone, Pyrex, Stainless Steel, or Stone—and it's not motorized
For a deep clean, place the toy in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can run it through the dishwasher without soap and the steam will help sterilize it.
Use a small amount of antibacterial soap and warm water to gently wash it. Make sure you don’t make too many soap suds, as the excessive sudsing can damage the sensitive material.
Hard Plastic, Elastomer, Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPR), or Jelly Rubber
These are porous materials that are more likely to retain bacteria, even after you’ve washed them with soap and water. If you're sharing toys of this material with a partner, consider using a condom.
After you’ve cleaned and dried your toys, the best way to store them is in their original box, a case, or a silk bag where they’ll be protected from other bacteria-laden items. If you want to take extra precautions, feel free to give your toys a pre-use wash as well!
Finally, and not to be a buzzkill, but safe sex is important—and yes, that applies to sex with toys as well. If you’re with a partner and using each other’s toys, remember that it’s safe and completely appropriate to ask to use a condom on toys that you’ll be using together and sharing.
Let the Games Begin
Well, now that we’ve covered the ins and outs of buying, playing with, and maintaining your sex toys, what are you still doing here? Get out there (or in there!) and have some fun!