Introduction to Sex Toys
Modern day sex toys can be worn, washed, app controlled, used alone, shared with partners, plugged in, recharged, travel sized. Some help you orgasm faster. Some help you orgasm slower. And with a little imagination and some determination, most anything can be used most anywhere.
This diversity makes the world of sex toys an exciting one to explore. But with so much selection and so little credible education, understanding how to maximise your pleasure can get overwhelming. To aid your journey, we’ve broken down traditional sex toys and their most ‘ahhh’ inducing uses.
Oh, vibrators. They’ve come a long way since their humble beginnings as a medical device. Used to mechanically stimulate the clitoris, anus, vagina, prostate, or G-spot, vibrators come in variations of basic configurations.
A shaft with varying vibration speeds is what most people think of when they hear the word ‘vibrator’. These toys are intended for clitoral stimulation or vaginal penetration. Classic vibrators are a good choice if you’re still learning what size and/or intensity you prefer.
Rabbits combine a vibrating external component for clitoral stimulation with a rotating and/or vibrating shaft for penetration. Rabbits are particularly useful for women who prefer simultaneous clitoral and vaginal stimulation.
These toys are ergonomically curved to reach the G-spot and can be enjoyed vaginally by women and anally by men. G-spot vibrators are an excellent way to explore orgasms through penetration, and can help women achieve female ejaculation (aka squirting). Pro tip: You’ll get the most from G-spot stimulation if you’re sexually aroused and very lubricated.
Wands are intended for clitoral stimulation and are the most powerful vibrators. This feature makes them a favourite amongst women who like intense vibration. Although traditionally plugged in for use, excellent rechargeable and even waterproof wands are now available. Attachments that add penetration make it a truly versatile toy.
Bullets provide external stimulation and are enjoyed on the clitoris, perineum, penis, scrotum, nipples, or any other erogenous zone. They can also add vibration to other toys, such as cock rings, harnesses, and dildos. Their small size and ease of handling make bullets a great toy to add extra stimulation to erogenous zones during sex.
The first official sex toys, dildos made of wood and stone date back thousands of years and have been discovered all over the world. Unlike vibrators, dildos are used exclusively for penetration and don’t have permanent mechanical parts. Aspects of dildos include:
One of the biggest considerations when choosing a dildo is size, including both length and girth. We can’t provide guidance here; the only way to know what you prefer is through experimentation. Though we will suggest that you start small and work your way up.
Dildos that resemble a penis, also called realistic dildos, are a good choice for people who enjoy the look and feel of a real penis. Others find non-phallic dildos sexier than their realistic counterparts, although the sensations provided by both are similar.
Material is an important consideration for all types of toys. It affects the durability, sensation, toxicity (The Nookie exclusively carries non-toxic toys), and cleanliness of the toy. Silicone, steel, and glass are preferred because they can be sterilised, an especially important feature for anal play. Read our sex toy material guide for help understanding the pleasure potential of different materials.
Dildos designed specifically for anal penetration are often slimmer than those intended for vaginal use. They also have a flared base for added safety (non-flared toys can get lost in the anal cavity...things lost in the anal cavity can result in humiliating hospital visits...). Some anal dildos have ridges or bulbs designed to enhance sensation during insertion and removal.
Harnesses, or strap-ons, resemble underwear and facilitate partner penetration by holding a dildo in place on the wearer’s body. Harness compatible dildos have an area at the base that allows you to attach an O-ring or Vac-U-Lock attachment. (Harness compatibility is listed with the product features for each of our dildos.)
Although all toys can be incorporated into sex one way or another, couple’s toys are specifically designed to enhance intercourse. With up to 70% of women unable to reach orgasm from vaginal penetration alone, toys that integrate penetration and clitoral stimulation can be a game-changer. The most common couple’s toys include:
Toys for Vaginal Insertion
With internal and external vibrating components, couple's toys for vaginal insertion (like the We-Vibe Sync) hug a woman’s G-spot while stimulating the clitoris. These toys are slim enough to be worn during penetration with a penis or dildo, helping women reach faster, more intense orgasms. Male partners also enjoy the extra sensation vibration provides.
Cock rings are designed to circle the penis at the base of the shaft and may also enclose the testicles. When worn on a penis, they restrict blood flow just enough to keep an erection harder than normal. This restriction doesn’t cut off the circulation to the penis; it just slows it down to help a man stay harder and last longer. It also leads to increased sensation in the penis and can result in more intense orgasms for him. Please note: because they restrict blood flow, cock rings shouldn’t be worn for more than 30 minutes without taking a break.
Vibrating cock rings additionally stimulate the sensitive nerve endings of the base of the penis, perineum, clitoris, vulva, testicles, and anus. For women, having sex with a partner wearing a vibrating cock ring provides stimulation of the clitoris during penetration. That, combined with the longer sex a ring provides, can result in more intense orgasms for her.
‘Strap-ons’ are sex toys that allow a woman to penetrate a female or a male partner. Or, in the case of a dual harness, they allow a man to double penetrate a female partner. Strap-ons come in two basic forms 1) with a harness or 2) harness free.
Strap-on harnesses resemble underwear and are designed to attach a dildo using either a Vac-U-Lock or O-ring system. Harnesses allow for as much sexual diversity as there are different styles of anal and vaginal focused dildos, which is a lot.
Harness free ‘strap-ons’ are similar to a double ended dildo in that both partners are penetrated during use. These toys use the wearer’s pelvic floor muscle to hold the toy in place. Some even include vibrating nodes to stimulate the wearer’s G-spot, like the Fun Factory Sharevibe. Harness-free strap-ons facilitate intimacy by providing more skin to skin contact than regular harness toys.
ANAL SEX TOYS
Ass play is all the rage these days, and with good reason. For women, anal sex toys add new levels of pleasure to both solo and partnered play. For men, prostate stimulation increases orgasm intensity and can even alleviate the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Although any penetrative toy with a flared base can be used anally, toys designed specifically for butt stuff offer enhanced benefits.
Anal beads are a series of spheres joined on a flexible stem or string. Designed to be inserted and removed little by little, the beads on many models gradually increase in size. This graduated sizing provides multiple options for stimulation and makes them a good toy for beginners. Removing anal beads right at the point of orgasm will intensify sensation for both men and women.
Butt plugs are designed to be inserted anally and left there until you want to remove them. Enjoyed by both men and women, these toys are typically shaped like cones or balls attached to a thin shaft with a flared base. They can be worn during sex for extra stimulation, making for more powerful orgasms for the wearer. Using butt plugs during foreplay is a great way to get the anus ready for penetration.
Prostate stimulators are shaped specifically to target the male prostate. Using prostate stimulators solo or during sex magnifies orgasm intensity and improves men’s overall sexual health.
Although they’ve been around for centuries (sex dolls came into fashion amongst sailors in the 17th century), male masturbators are just beginning to enter mainstream use. And that’s a magnificent thing. Besides providing penis pleasure (isn’t that reason enough?), male masturbators assist with treatment of premature ejaculation and can even help people with disabilities increase their sexual satisfaction.
Two typical male masturbators are:
Eggs: Eggs are soft, stretchy toys that fit over the head of the penis and slide down the shaft. Used solo or with a partner, these discreet, easy to store, travel-friendly toys bring new sensations (some resemble a blow job!) to the good old hand job.
Sleeves: Sleeves come with an array of cases, openings, and textures, each designed to provide unique sensations to the penis. Some can be used in sexual positions by those with erectile challenges to help stimulate both themselves and their partners.