Trying to pick out your first sex toy needn’t be a nightmare. Sure, there are literally thousands of products to choose from, but with just a few simple considerations you can narrow it down to the perfect toy for you.
First thing’s first; forget all about your gender.
Some people are put off by stickers on boxes that read ‘for women’ or ‘for men’. They think, well I’m not a woman so that vibe can’t be for me. Same goes for sexual orientation. Toys that are badged up as ‘gay toys’ can be off putting for people who don’t identify as gay.
When you’re looking for a sex toy, none of that matters. What does matter is what you enjoy. What type of stimulation your body responds to. And, to a lesser degree, what you have in your pants.
Next, know that ‘couple’s toys’ don’t exist.
It’s important to remember that the label ‘couple’s toys’ is a marketing ploy. Every sex toy out there can be incorporated into partner play whether there are two of you or twenty-two. And if a toy you love the look of is in the couple’s category, but you don’t have a partner, it’s still suitable for you. Take the We-Vibe Sync as an example. That’s tagged as a couple’s toy, but it’s one of my go-to products for hands-free stimulation while I read erotica.
Needs, likes & dislikes
When I get asked, ‘what would you recommend as a first sex toy’ I tend to fire back with the following questions:
- How do you masturbate?
This question is super important, yet it’s often met with a ‘that’s a bit personal’ response. But it truly is a necessary thing for a sex toy shopper to consider. Nine times out of ten (in my experience), a person looking for their first sex toy is wanting to stimulate their clitoris, vagina, g-spot, penis, or anus.
Thinking about how you already stimulate those parts is vital when choosing a toy. I mean, if you like your clitoris to be stimulated in a soft and gentle fashion you don’t want to go anywhere near the powerhouse that is the Doxy. If you like to have your g-spot touched, you don’t want a ramrod straight dildo. Taking a little time to think about what you already like is the best way to help you narrow down your pool of choices.
- What are your tastes?
Some say this isn’t important, but in my opinion, it is. Case in point; Fleshlights. If you have a thing for blowjobs, a Fleshlight with a mouth opening has as much power to engage your eyes and mind as it does your penis. On the flipside, if oral isn’t your jam, that same Fleshlight could well put you off.
Then there are sex toy materials to think about. If you don’t want an insertable toy that feels even remotely like a real penis, you won’t want soft silicone. Glass might be more your thing. But then there are people who, for whatever reason, are completely turned off by glass. Sometimes it’s safety that bothers them, and one person I helped choose a toy told me that they disliked the slimy feel of lube on glass. But they wanted something completely unyielding and not plastic, so I directed them towards wooden toys and they were very happy.
- What is your budget?
Too often, people think of this question before the other two, but it isn’t as important as it used to be. It isn’t that money is no object, because of course it is. It’s more a case of quality sex toys made from body safe materials are getting easier and easier to find. Once upon a time, silicone dildos carried pretty steep price tags, but now you can get excellent dongs for £20/£30. Powerful vibes used to cost an arm and a leg but now you can pick up an intense bullet for less than £50.
Part of the budget question also includes features. What do you want your toy to do? Are you okay with batteries or would you prefer rechargeable? Or even mains powered? Do you want a remote control, so others can join in with your play a bit easier? Or do you want app compatible teledildonics so you can play long distance? In general, the more features you want, the more the toy will cost, but when you start looking at a higher price point you also start looking at premium brand products. These toys are where you’ll find your highest quality materials, (often but not always) most powerful vibes, and many of them come with lengthy repair/replace warranties for if anything should go wrong.
The usual suspects.
Here are a few examples of some ace first time sex toys:
- Bullets – usually 4” in length with either gently pointed or lipstick-style tips, bullets are one of the only sex toys that span pretty much every price point known to man. The cheaper ones are usually battery powered, mild and buzzy. The high-end ones are often rechargeable and kick-ass. Clitoral stimulation, shallow vaginal (never anal!) penetration, scrotum & frenulum tickling…bullets are one of the most versatile toys on the market.
- Rabbits – rabbit vibes come in all shapes and sizes and can be used either vaginally or anally. The most recognisable is the one with a straight shaft, rotating beads, and external arm with ‘bunny ears’. Most of the less expensive ones will conform to that style but higher-end ones come in less obvious shapes and have features like shafts that heat up and dual motors for independent operation of internal & external stim.
- Dildos – though dildos come in literally every shape and size imaginable (from tiny 3” lengths to whopping 3ft ones), when I recommend a first one I usually suggest something small and silicone. G&P-Spots can be catered for with a curve. You can choose your dildo to suit whatever texture or girth appeals to you, or you can pick up one with a flared base for pegging and safe anal play.
- Cock Rings – these are usually badged up as ‘couple’s toys’ but you don’t need a partner present to use a cock ring. Their main purpose is to help a penis stay harder for longer, but there are rings out there with added vibrations. These can be a great way to give extra stimulation to a partner with a clitoris, but they can also be ideal for solo players. Some people just love the feel of vibes on their shaft, but there are cock rings out there with moulded shapes that are designed to stimulate the scrotum and perineum.
- Masturbators – whether you want to spend £10 or £100, you’ll always be able to find a masturbator to suit your needs and personal tastes. Simple, limited use options like Tenga Eggs are cheap and cheerful, and not anatomically designed in the slightest. As you go up in price you have simple sleeves, Fleshlights in all manner or orifices both realistic and fantasy, and Tenga Flipholes, some that vibrate, some that don’t.
- Butt plugs – the main things to look for in a butt plug are the size of the bulb and base. Huge plugs can look so enticing, but if anal play is new to you you’re probably going to want to start small. A flared base is vital for any anal toy to eliminate the risk of it being drawn into the body, so look for a plug with a t-bar/anchor base, or a round, flat base that’s wider than the bulb.
Finally, no matter what toy you choose and no matter where you wish to put it, there is one product that is essential to get maximum pleasure from your play: lube. A good quality lubricant can help even the most basic of stimulation techniques feel magical. When you buy your lube, always make sure it’s compatible with the toys you plan to use it with. Water-based lubes are suitable for every toy material, but silicone lubes don’t work well with silicone toys. For more information on lubes and to find the right one for you, check out this lube guide.