Sex Toys, Questionable Retailers, & the Buyer’s Journey

They might be intriguing, but many people never experiment with sex toys, simply because of the negative social stigmas often associated with them. Thankfully, this outdated mindset is steadily being replaced with a more sex-positive mindset, leading more people to try something new in their sex lives. If you—like so many others—are interested in learning more about (or trying out) sex toys but aren’t quite sure where to start, keep reading: we’re sure you’ll find the following information invaluable on your quest to personal sexual satisfaction!

Sex Toys: What Are They?

Sex toys come in all different shapes, sizes, designs, and with a wide variety of various functions. Although some toys are gendered (made specifically for male or female genitalia), many toys can be enjoyed by people regardless of their gender. This is especially true for any toys that can be inserted into the anus, such as dildos, butt plugs, or anal beads. Ultimately, there are sex toys designed for nearly any purpose or situation imaginable, so it’s not a matter of whether or not the toy exists. Rather, the challenge is finding the right toy for you!

 Where to Buy Sex Toys (And Why It Matters!)

Choosing the right toy is certainly important for long-term success and pleasure. However, most people will be focused primarily on purchasing a reputable product as their first sex toy, rather than trying to find the “ultimate toy”. With that in mind, first-time buyers may assume that name-brand toys are the way to go. To an extent, this assumption is correct, but where you purchase the sex toy(s) from is just as important as the brand name on the box. Unfortunately, imitation or fake products are easy to come upon if you’re using mainstream online retailers (such as Amazon or eBay). The lower-quality materials used in these imitation products can cause long-term health issues (such as reproductive problems) and should be avoided when possible. The best way to ensure you’re receiving a top-quality product is by purchasing brand-name sex toys from dedicated online (or offline) sex stores. 

How Much You’ll Need to Pay 

Much like with cars, prices vary widely. How much you’ll end up paying for your toy(s) really depends on what you’re looking for & the standard of quality you require. Some toys—such as dildos—are relatively inexpensive across the board, whereas other products like vibrators vary wildly in price. Many products that seem to be a great deal will only be priced lower because of the materials used, so check the product details before snatching a “great deal”. Non-porous materials like stainless steel, glass, or medical-grade silicone make for the best sex toy materials as these compounds can be completely sterilized, eliminating any surface bacteria and preventing your toy from smelling bad. Porous materials (such as TPE or PVC) are often cheaper than non-porous materials, which makes them seem like a smarter investment for individuals on a budget. However, it’s important to remember that porous materials can’t be sterilized: they can only be cleaned! Some porous materials may contain phthalates. You’ll want to avoid toys that contain phthalates since these chemicals can cause long-term health issues.

Five Fantastic Beginner Sex Toys 

We-Vibe Moxie Panty Vibrator

This toy might seem like a large initial investment, but we promise it’s definitely worth it! This vibrator is controlled remotely via a physical remote or the mobile app, has ten different vibration modes, runs for up to two hours, and is designed to fit discreetly in your favorite pair of panties for exciting public (or private) play.

Colors Dual Density Silicone Dildo

While the entire toy measures 7 inches long, only 5.25 inches of the shaft can be inserted. For more experienced dildo users, this toy might be a bit on the small side, but it’s perfect for first-time users & anal lovers alike! It has a decent girth as well, providing 1.5 inches of satisfying width with each thrust. The dildo even has a suction-cup base for quick mounting/usage, comes in five different colors, and costs less than $30, making it an affordable way to begin your sexy toy journey!

THRUST Pro Ultra Gigi Realistic Vagina and Ass

If you have a penis, have grown tired of using your hand for self-stimulation, and want something to help spice up your solo sessions, we really can’t recommend a better beginner toy than the THRUST Pro Ultra Gigi stroker! Male strokers (also called male masturbators or “fleshlights”) are often modeled after either a vagina or an anus, but Gigi is special because she offers two orifices in one toy. Although you can certainly purchase cheaper male strokers online, we think that Gigi is worth the asking price. After all, you get a dual-orifice, phthalate-free, and completely waterproof masturbator for less than $40! 

Mantric Prostate Vibrator

Most men won’t begin their journey here, but if you’re one of the guys in search of the elusive “p-spot”, then getting your own prostate vibrator is a great place to start! Some brands (like LELO) offer high-end toys for hundreds of dollars, which is a bit much for first-time users. Fortunately, Mantric has this quality prostate vibrator available for less than $90. The massager is waterproof, can be controlled via the included remote controller, and has seven different vibration modes for on-demand prostate pleasure. 

Doc Johnson Mood “Naughty” Small Silicone Butt Plug

Many people haven’t tried anal before, even though they want to. Doc Johnson offers a variety of “Naughty” butt plugs that are designed for long-term comfort, are safe to wear (thanks to the t-bar style base), and are made from body-safe silicone. The “small” measures 3.5 inches long and 0.95 inches wide, making it perfect for complete anal beginners! Doc Johnson also has a “Naughty 2” line of butt plugs, which are shaped more like a prostate massager than a traditional butt plug. Both lines come in a variety of sizes, meaning which line you choose is entirely up to personal preference!

Preparing for Your First Purchase

It can be tempting to try and buy all the best sex toys right from the get-go, but we highly recommend taking it slow instead. Although—assuming you have the money to do so—there isn’t anything wrong with buying toys on a whim, you’re more likely to find better products if you take the time to read over a sex toy review or two instead. Sites like allow you to read sex toy reviews on toys you’re interested in, compare user experiences, identify any design flaws, and make informed decisions. Of course, your buyer’s journey is your own path to take. Regardless of what you purchase or how you choose to go about it, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the journey. Have fun shopping!

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