Did you know that 70% of Americans have a dildo in their home? More people than ever before buy sex toys, but there are some common – yet avoidable – mistakes. Sex toys are brilliant pieces of technology that bring pleasure to people of all genders and walks of life, yet many of us buy them without really knowing what we’re doing. You might be embarrassed to ask questions in a store, or perhaps you don’t understand the sex toy jargon you see online.
What the hell are phthalates anyway?
I’m JC Way, Professional Sex Toy Reviewer at the SexToyCollective, and here are 12 mistakes you might make when buying sex toys!
You buy sex toys that aren’t body-safe
Did you know that sex toy manufacturing is not regulated in the US at all? When you buy sex toys, make sure you get safe materials.
Many sex toys sold online and in stores are made from toxic sex toy materials that are not safe for your body. These materials include PVC, jelly rubber, and certain types of plastic used for cheap dildos and vibrators.
Some cheap sex toys may also be made from porous materials (like TPE) which let bacteria inside, making them near-impossible to clean thoroughly. Poorly-made glass sex toys might not be properly tempered and could shatter, crack, or smash easily.
Yep, it could get ugly if you’re not careful.
The safest sex toy materials are silicone, ABS plastic, stainless steel, borosilicate glass, and high-quality wood. They’re usually more expensive than cheap PVC and rubber toys, but they are much, much safer and cleaner for your body!
You don’t use the right lube
Most sex toys require you to use lube, which you definitely should do. In fact, use as much as you’d like!
But are you using the right lube for your toy?
Silicone-based lubes might be long-lasting, but they should NEVER be used with silicone sex toys, as the silicones will react and destroy the toy.
Here’s a quick lube guide for sex toys:
-Water-based lube is compatible with ALL sex toys
-Silicone-based lube is compatible with all NON-SILICONE sex toys
-Oil-based lube is compatible with all sex toys EXCEPT latex & condoms
Always check the instructions that come with your specific sex toy. If you’re ever in doubt, go for a high-quality water-based lube.
You don’t shop with authorized resellers
Are you buying sex toys on Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, or another one of these huge e-commerce sites?
While there are legit stores on Amazon, there are also a lot of cheap sex toys made from nasty materials, as well as hundreds of counterfeit fake sex toys made by imitation sellers and cheap factories.
There’s only so much these huge e-commerce sites can do to regulate their sellers, so while some genuine sex toy companies like We-Vibe sell their toys on Amazon, it’s easy to get caught out by a fake.
It’s best to visit the manufacturer’s website directly, such as We-Vibe.com or Womanizer.com. Another possibility: use a trusted sex toy retailer like LoveHoney or SheVibe.
Your anal toys aren’t anal-safe
Anal play is fun and all, but you need to make sure a toy is suitable if you plan on putting it inside you.
This means that it MUST have a flared base!
A flared base means that the bottom of the toy flares out so that the toy can’t accidentally slip inside completely. It might be a dildo with a large pair of attached testicles, or it could just simply be a large round base on the bottom of a butt plug.
But can’t you just push the toy back out?
Anal cavities do not have the same muscles as vaginas – you will not be able to push out a sex toy if it slips inside you. In fact, you’ll probably end up going to the ER.
On this note, do not switch a sex toy between the vagina and anus without cleaning it or using protection in between!
You don’t clean your sex toys properly (or enough!)
I know so many people who don’t clean their sex toys after using them – they just put them straight back in the drawer and forget about them for a few days, giving the bacteria plenty of time to fester.
Be sure to clean your sex toys after and before using them! If not, you risk yeast infections, UTIs, and all sorts of nasty business.
Most sex toys can be cleaned with warm water and antibacterial soap, though some toys have specific cleaning instructions.
Some toys, like those made from glass and stainless steel, can be bleached or boiled to fully sanitize them from germs.
The Sex Toy Collective’s sex toy cleaning guide has more information.
You don’t check the customer reviews
Of course sex toy companies are going to say that their product is the best pleasure device on the face on the earth. Their job is to sell you stuff.
But what do the consumers say?
Sex toy retailers like LoveHoney feature detailed customer reviews on all of their products, with each customer giving you their personal pros and cons for each toy, as well as background information about their gender, age, and sexuality.
If in doubt, check these unbiased customer reviews and look for people who are similar to you.
Also, don’t forget that dodgy companies often pay customers to write good reviews on Amazon – if a toy looks cheap and has a badly-written product description but a ton of generic 5-star reviews, it could be a sign that something’s wrong.
You don’t buy the right size
Most of the time, sex toys are a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.
But what if they’re just not the right fit for you?
Many of us make the mistake of thinking “bigger = better” without stopping to consider how comfortable we are. Sometimes a bigger toy will just be straight-up painful while a smaller toy would hit the spot perfectly.
You also need to consider your body shape and how big you are naturally. If you’re a petite, small-framed woman, you don’t need the same sized dildo as a broad 6-foot-2 man.
Don’t buy big – buy comfortable!
You don’t know your body
On a similar note, you need to know what your body wants when buying a sex toy.
If you have a vulva, do you prefer clitoral stimulation or internal stimulation? Do you shake at the knees when a toy hits your G-spot or do you prefer to focus on external vibrations? Don’t just get a rabbit vibe because everyone says you should – figure out what you like first.
If you have a penis, do you prefer cock vibrators or stroker toys? Do you like massaging your prostate or do you prefer a good anal play?
The more you know about your body’s preferences, the better you can shop for sex toys!
You’re focused on the orgasm, not the journey
Of course we all want to have good orgasms. That’s kind of the point. And yes, a sex toy should be able to make you cum, but there’s no need to rush things so quickly!
A decent vibrator can make the journey just as pleasurable as the destination!
For example, a well-sized rabbit vibrator’s blend of G-spot and clitoral pleasure can make your journey to orgasm very fun and intense, and the more intense the journey, the more intense the orgasm will usually be.
This is even truer for men.
While most men have a singular orgasm that lasts around 5 seconds, sex toys like prostate massagers can give them minutes-long orgasmic sensations that open up a whole new world of sexual exploration.
You don’t read the instructions
Look, I get it. Instructions are boring. When you’re horny and your new sex toy arrives, you just wanna hop in bed and get your rocks off.
But read the instructions!
First of all, you might not know how to use a toy and you could hurt yourself. Secondly, there might be specific cleaning and lube requirements for a toy, as well as safety precautions. Thirdly, many rechargeable toys require you to charge their battery for several hours before using them for the first time.
I’m not saying you need tobe able to recite the Terms & Conditions verbatim, but know the basics at least.
You forget about being discreet
Yeah yeah, your new vibrator buzzes at 1 million miles an hour and it makes you cum buckets, but how much maintenance does it require? Can it easily be hidden? Is it noisy?
Some sex toys, like Fleshlights, are bulky and need to be air-dried for 24 hours – not great if you’re trying to hide your sex life from your parents or roommate.
Similarly, some vibrators require you to charge them for long periods – do you have a way of doing that without it being seen by prying eyes?
Also, some sex toys are just really loud.
If you’re trying to maintain your privacy or you just want a toy that’s easy to clean and take care of, you need to take this into account.
There’s no point buying the world’s strongest vibrator if you’re in a dorm room with paper-thin walls.
You’re filled with shame.
Alas, many of us are conditioned to be ashamed of sex and exploring our sexuality. This often extends to buying sex toys.
Weirdly, many of us feel more ashamed of playing with sex toys than we do having sex with others – it’s almost like having sex with other people is “normal” but playing with ourselves is weird and forbidden.
As a sex toy reviewer, I’ve put a lot of things inside me over the years, and let me tell you that people are FASCINATED. As soon as people find out what I do, they’re suddenly incredibly intrigued, asking me loads of questions and sounding a little jealous.
You see, we’re all just perverts when it comes down to it.
I know it’s easier said than done, but try to enjoy sex toys without feeling embarrassed or ashamed! Believe me, everyone else is doing it too, even if they don’t say it.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on 12 mistakes you make when buying sex toys!
Buying sex toys can be confusing when you’re not used to it, but with these tips and a little experience, you’ll be shopping for dildos like a pro in no time.
For more of my sex toy reviews, tips, how-to guides, and blogs, check out the Sex Toy Collective website and YouTube channel.
Stay safe and have fun!
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I didn’t purchase my first vibrator until I was in my 30s. Like most women, I’d been raised to believe that sex and masturbation were dirty, and typically saw my role in the bedroom as providing pleasure to my partner. My own pleasure was typically an afterthought, and, to be honest, I was usually left frustrated. The truth was, I didn’t know my body, at all…