10 Things You Need to Know to Pick the Perfect Sex Toy

Emmarose Benne

Vibrators, fleshlights, butt plugs, OH MY! Shopping for a sex toy and feeling overwhelmed by the countless shapes, sizes, materials, power, etc.? Candor's got your back (so you can get your other body parts) with the top 10 things to consider when buying a sex toy!

1) Body-safe materials

If you ignore everything else in this article, please, for the love of orgasms, take heed of this; make sure your toy is body safe. No, not all sex toys are safe for your body, and yes that's fucked up. You want your toy to be non-porous, sanitize-able (by boiling, putting through the dishwasher, or cleaning with a bleach solution — follow the instructions that come with your toy), and free of nasty chemicals. Medical grade silicone is a popular and safe choice. Other options include medical grade plastic or ABS plastic, stainless steel, and even certain types of glass! Look up reviews and research brands — there are LOTS of reputable, body-safe brands out there (high end, budget, and everywhere in between).

P.S. Body safe materials extend to lube, too — some lubes have GROSS shit in them. Good Clean Love and Sliquid both make kick-ass, body-safe water-based options and Uberlube is an OMG worthy silicone-based choice. (If your toy is silicone, though, don't use silicone lube until you've insured your toy is silicone-lube safe with a patch test.)

2) How (where) do you want to use it?

Regardless of what parts you have or how you want to stimulate them — there is almost definitely a toy for just that. Make sure your toy is going to be comfortable and safe to use where and how you want to use it — especially if you want to use it internally. Into anal penetration? You need a toy that is wider at the base (your anal sphincter is strong AF and it will not hesitate to send you to the ER for unsuitable toy retrieval). Want to use it in the shower? Make sure it's waterproof! Play it safe and choose a toy that is made for the specific type/s of fun you're looking for.

3) Your anatomy

There's the obvious consideration of what parts you have, but more specific considerations matter too. Consider your anatomy when choosing shapes, functions, etc. If you're looking for something that titillates multiple areas at once, you'll want to make sure the toy is going to reach those multiple areas the way you want them to. And since you can't try sex toys out before you buy (for good reason), this might mean busting out a ruler and a hand-mirror.

4) Size Matters

Speaking of reaching the right spots... sex toys come in a lot of different sizes. If you're a beginner with a certain type of play, you may want to ease in a bit and not go straight for the biggest /most intense toy available. If you do opt to go big, please remember lube. Lots of lube. You needn't worry, though, that your toy might "desensitize" you. It won't. Many sex toys will be very efficient at getting you off (it is their sole job in life, after all) so your brain might get a little impatient with other methods of pleasure. If that happens — and you don't like it — stop using your sex toy (or even just use it less) and your brain will re-adjust.

5) Power and Settings

If you're buying a toy that vibrates, you have a lot of options when it comes to those vibrations: vibration intensity and pattern, types of vibrations, as well as where the motors are located can all impact your experience and pleasure. Intensity and patterns are mostly going to be personal preference (lots of toys have multiple settings so you can experiment and find what works for you). You might hear types of vibrations discussed as "buzzy" vs. "rumbly" -- most people prefer something with more rumble, as a buzzier vibe can make you feel a little numb after a while, but, again, you do you. Either way, the vibration is going to be strongest where the motor is —some dual stimulation vibes have multiple motors and some don't — check to see if the oomph is where you want it.

6) Do you want to use it alone and /or with a partner?

Another size (and shape) consideration might be how well it will fit between your body and a partner's body. There are plenty of toys made especially for use with a partner (like this, or this, or this!) and there are plenty of others that happen to fit comfortably between two bodies for some extra heat). Be extra sure to properly clean and sanitize any toys you use with a partner .

7) Special features

Speaking of partners, you can give your partner control of your toy, and/or choose something wearable for fun on the town or hands-free so you can... do any number of things with your hands. ;)

8) How discrete do you need to be?

If you have roommates, you might want something on the quieter side. If you have snoopy, sex-negative roommates, you might want something designed to not even look like a sex toy!

9) Aesthetics

You might not care what your toy looks like as long as it does the job but I, for one, want my sex toys to be pretty. And there are a lot of gorgeous options out there. Whether you want something sleek, discreet, realistic, or bright and sparkly — there's a toy for you (just please make sure those sparkles are body safe and aren't going to shed all over your most sensitive body parts).

10) Price

To a certain extent, you're going to get what you pay for. But high-end sex toys aren't in everyone's budget, and there are plenty of great choices for a reasonable price. If you've got money to burn, you probably won't regret the splurge. If you need a more sensibly-priced toy, don't worry, there are still plenty of options that will be safe and pleasurable for YOUR sexy body.

So now that you know what to look for, get out there and shop (and then enjoy), and pretty please tell us what you choose — and how much you love it — in the comments below!

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