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Self Love During COVID: A Quick Guide to Sex Toys

It’s been a year since we all went home. With the pandemic still going, hookups put on hold are still not super safe. And what about those of us who aren’t really interested in sex with another person? With more time in (when not buried in papers and readings) how should we spend it? For these reasons, I’m offering you a brief 101 on sex toys.

The first thing to consider is your body, of course! 

Some toys are made specifically for clitoral, vaginal, penile, or anal stimulation. Do you like penetration? Do you like to do the penetration? Get a sense of your body and what you enjoy. Of course it’s great to experiment with new toys, but if you’re looking specifically for something to stimulate your prostate, a bullet vibe isn’t going to be helpful.

If you’re interested in a vibrator, consider its use. 

How strong do you want it? If this is your first vibrator, you might want to go with something a little lighter to avoid overstimulation right out of the gate. There are two types of vibrations: rumbly and buzzy. Rumbly toys will jump around on a flat surface, while buzzy toys won’t. To get a sense of which type is better for you, you can always press a toy against the tip of your nose, which will give you an idea of how it will feel in later use. 

Some insertable toys vibrate, and some don’t. 

What kind of penetration are you looking for? Some people prefer slimmer toys, others thicker. Do you want it curved for prostate or g-spot stimulation? Also, consider the length. For folks with vaginas, you may not like cervical stimulation, and thus don’t need a toy that’s especially long. In general, if you’ve never experimented with penetration before, start with something smaller. Especially for anal! For anal you must work up slowly to a bigger size and always use a toy with a flared base. Otherwise, the muscles will suck the toy in, and, well, things are liable to get lost. 

For those folks with a penis, there are options beyond anal stimulation. Masturbators allow for you to do the penetrating, and can be shaped like a vagina, lips, anus, or just a tube. Cock rings can help you hold an erection for longer, and penis pumps can make you more sensitive. Note! Please only use pumps and rings for a short period of time! 

Think about the material. 

Non-porous materials are the safest, to make sure that bacteria, fungi, etc. don’t get into and start growing on your toys. The best kind of material to use is silicone, and make sure that the toy description says it’s 100% silicone and body-safe. Using a toy with a different material like jelly or plastic? That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just cover the toy with a condom before using it. Always wash your toys with soap and water, and use a toy cleaner if you have it.

This is just a quick 101 – there are tons of other toys to try; anal beads, bondage, electro-play toys, etc. Start simple and then work your way through! Figure out what makes you tick! There are plenty of cheap, but safe, toys out there to help you start your self-love journey. And using sex toys with a partner can always be fun!

As always, stay safe, and stay sexy. And use lube!