A Beginner’s Guide to Adult Toys

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Sex toys used to be regarded as a way to spice things up when they were getting stale. Your partner might have even felt like it was a statement about their ability to keep things interesting.

Not so anymore! Today, sex toys are often a welcome addition between partners who are committed to each other’s pleasure… or singles who are looking to add something to their own fun! But before you go looking for dildos for sale, let’s take a look at some of the basics!


While self-explanatory in concept, there’s a huge amount of variety among vibrating toys. Some are small and are specialized for stimulating the clitoris, while others are more penis-shaped and designed for penetration. Some models even do both! Among the penis-type vibrators, there is almost every size, color, and shape you can imagine, from highly realistic vibrating dildos to smooth, contoured g-spot specialists.

That’s not even to mention vibrating butt plugs, nipple clamps, or cock rings! If a motor can be added to it, someone has probably done it. Many vibrators today are rechargeable, so the days of running to the store before you have fun are virtually a thing of the past. Plus, most are covered with body-safe silicone and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your rechargeable vibrator when washing it after the fun is over.


Dildos are designed to look more like an actual penis, but you’d be shocked at the variety available even for that. You can get realistically sized and shaped dildos that have life-like flesh tones all the way up to see-through models whose proportions would pose a challenge even for experienced users. Most dildos even include a built-in suction cup to help with hands-free fun, whether vaginally or anally.

Dildos can be made of a wide variety of materials, too. Hard, impersonal rubber is virtually nonexistent today as a sex toy material. Body-safe silicone is a popular choice for a human-like feel, while glass and stainless steel are body-safe choices if you want something truly rigid. Otherwise, look for options that are PVC and phthalate-free, as those are safer for your body.

Butt Stuff

For the more adventurous, the variety among anal toys is almost mind-boggling. The perennial favorite is the butt plug. The basic shape has a rounded, narrow tip that flares toward the base, and then cinches in before flaring out again. The idea here is that it slides in and comes to a stop at the narrowest portion. This keeps it from coming out unintentionally, while also ensuring that it doesn’t become irretrievable.

Butt plugs can serve different purposes. While even a basic model of the right size and shape can change your worldview, some go the extra mile by vibrating or targeting specific areas. An example would be prostate massagers designed for use by men to stimulate the prostate, which can create very powerful sensations and orgasms. You can even get ones that operate by remote control so your partner can decide what you feel.

As with other sex toys, look for ones that are made of body-safe materials like food-grade silicone, glass, or stainless steel. Always use plenty of lube when doing any butt play.

Ben Wa Balls

For the ladies only, ben wa balls are small, weighted balls that are frequently made from the same popular body-safe materials as other sex toys. They come in pairs and are either detached or held together by a string. The string is intended to stick out so you can retrieve it more easily, or for a partner to pull them out at the critical moment. Many have a smaller ball within each ball that will roll around as you move, creating unique sensations against your g-spot.

For those who want to try something like this anally, get anal beads instead. They have a flared base like a buttplug, which makes them safe to use without becoming irretrievable. Never insert something anally that can be inserted entirely.

Cock Rings and Nipple Clamps

Let’s not forget these fun little devices! A cock ring is a stretchy ring that gently constricts the penis to maintain a firmer, more engorged erection for longer. Some are designed to grip just above the testicles, too. 

Nipple clamps can be fun for both men and women who like to maintain some stimulation on their nipples while their hands or mouths are otherwise occupied. While the idea and appearance of nipple clamps may intimidate some, they’re adjustable to your preferences.

That’s Just the Beginning!

About 86% of US adults aged 25-44 own sex toys, so there’s no doubt that they’ve hit the mainstream. There’s a greater variety now than ever before, so we hope our little guide sets you in the right direction. And don’t forget the lube!

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