Love making, coitus, intercourse, mating, call it what you want- sex is an act which is natural and pleasurable and there is nothing to be ashamed about that. If you are one of those who thinks that sex is only an act to be performed for reproduction, then please look away because this article might make you uncomfortable to the level 1000.
For all the others, hello there! If you enjoy sex as a consensual, pleasurable act and if you are adventurous and are willing to heighten your pleasure levels with your partner, or self, with some sex toys, then this article is going to be helpful.
Sexual aids, adult toys and what that means
These are objects that aid in sexual intercourse or masturbation and help increase or add to pleasure. These can be used by different people for different reasons and purposes- for example not just by healthy adults but even by people who may have sexual dysfunction, disorders, medical condition, or have trouble having or enjoying sex. So let’s be a little open and inclusive. People with limited mobility, gender dysphoria can all use a little help from sexual aids as these issues can be physically, emotionally, and psychologically draining.
While there are many different types of sex toys used for various purposes, let’s look at some of the more common ones here and how to use them.
Most popular and common, these are objects that vibrate to stimulate your genitals like clitoris, vulva, vagina. However, vibrators can also stimulate the penis, scrotum and testicles, nipples, and anus and can be equally pleasurable for all genders. Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes some can go inside a vagina or anus, and some others are for external stimuli.
These are objects that go inside a vagina, anus, or mouth and are shaped more or less like a penis and can come in different shapes and sizes. Some may be curved, to help stimulate your g-spot or prostate while others may have an extra protrusion for clitoral stimulation. They are made from different materials, like silicone, rubber, plastic, metal, or, break-resistant glass.
Anal beads and Butt Plugs
These are toys made specifically for the anus. They are designed to stimulate and/or go inside your anus and needs lubricants to use them. If a sex toy goes all the way inside your butt, it could get stuck and you may have to go to the doctor to get it out.
Soft tubes that you put your penis into are known as masturbation sleeves, penis sleeves, or strokers. They are available in different shapes, sizes and textures on the inside for more sensation. Some may even have vibration or suction.
These go around the scrotum and/or penis. Penis rings slow blood flow out of the penis when it’s erect (hard), which can increase sensation, or make your erection harder and longer-lasting however these should not be used for more than 30 minutes. They are made from materials that you can easily remove, like silicone, rubber, or leather with snaps. Some penis rings come with vibrators to stimulate you and/or your partner. People with a bleeding disorder or on blood-thinning medicine should consult a doctor before use.
These come with a hand or battery-powered pump to create suction around your penis, clitoris, vulva, or nipples. Pumps drive blood flow to the area, which helps increase sensitivity and sensation. Some people also like the feeling of the suction. Penis pumps can help you get an erection and can help treat certain erectile and sexual dysfunction like the ones available in medical stores.
Kegel Balls or Ben Wa balls
Round objects that you put inside your vagina. They can help you do exercises that tone and strengthen your Kegel muscles. Kegel balls are usually weighted so you have to squeeze your vagina to keep them inside your body. Some are hollow with smaller balls inside that roll and bounce when you move, making a jiggling sensation and heighten arousal.
Packers or Peggers
These are prosthetic objects that look and feel like a penis and comes with a harness or a strap-on. Many trans, genderqueer, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people use packers to help affirm or express their gender identity. Like with anyone’s genitals, packers aren’t always sexual or used for sex. But some packers can be worn bent down or sticking up, so they can resemble both an erect (hard) and non-erect (soft) penis and can be used for sex.
Harnesses or strap-on are garments that hold a pegger, dildo, or another sex toy against your body. Some are worn like underwear or jockstraps, and others may go around the waist or thighs. Strap-on dildos can be used by people of any gender or sexuality. A strap-on dildo can be used for a wide variety of sexual activities, including vaginal sex, anal sex, pegging, oral sex, or solo or mutual masturbation.
How you take care of the hygiene and cleanliness before and after using a sexual aid is very important to avoid STDs and infections. Always clean the object as instructed in its manual before and after using it and store it accordingly.
Wash your sex toys with mild soap and water after you use them, and before they touch another person’s genitals. Putting condoms on sex toys can help keep them clean and prevent the spread of STDs. Just make sure you change condoms before the toy touches another person’s genitals.
You may need a lot of lubricants if you are using any toys for inserting in the vagina or anus, so invest in a good brand. The anus, unlike the vagina is not self lubricating so it will need some help there. Also they should be made of body-safe, non-porous materials like silicone (not silicone blends), hard plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, and break-resistant glass because these are easier to disinfect and keep clean.
Things to keep in mind
While this list is not exhaustive, it may be overwhelming to the uninitiated to learn about them. A lot of reading, learning, and discussion with your sexual partner needs to be involved before investing in one. And it will also take a lot of trial and error and experimenting before you can decide which works for you.
Needless to say, these come in various brands and pricing, and therefore it’s always best to read reviews before deciding. Most online store and physical shop addresses are available with an online search so do your research before you decide what and where you would like to buy it from.
Also, what works for one may not work for another and that’s okay. This list is not a guide to sex toys so make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging or do thorough research before indulging in these. Also remember, if this involves a partner, then their consent is important. Consult a sex counselor or sex therapist for further guidance.