Disclaimer: This post is for adults and also you should consider yourself warned that it is about sex toys. Don’t read on if you can’t handle the fact that sex toys are normal things to not be ashamed about!!
It almost seems weird that I haven’t written about this until now, but I think that people should definitely know how to go about buying themselves a decent sex toy in this frigid grey world. And who better to listen to than me, who sells sex toys for a living? (Probably plenty of people, but do they also have blogs?)
So let us discuss the ins and outs (heh) of getting yourself something to get yourself off with! For the sake of continuity, I will just use vibrators as the main focus of this post.
Firstly, try to have a rough idea of what you are looking for. It’s no use shopping for something when you don’t really have any idea what that “something” actually is. I don’t mean that you should know the exact make and model of the vibrator that you want, but to make life easier for both yourself and the sex store staff, it’s a great idea to know whether you are in the market for a vibrator, a butt plug or a gimp mask. Just narrow it down enough so that you’re not umm-ing and aah-ing around the shop for six hours before deciding you just want the Cum Bucket mask, because this is a giant waste of time for all involved.
Once you have an idea of what you are after, you will be able to go into a store and check out the equivalent products. If a staff member approaches you to offer help, don’t be afraid to tell them what you are looking for. It’s not Bali and we are not desperate to sell you crappy shit that you don’t want, we just want to make sure that you get as close to what you want as quickly and painlessly as possible, true story. I hate having people in the shop for ages browsing around cluelessly because it means that if they refuse my assistance, I have to pretend to be busy and on standby for the whole time they are in the store, when I could be saving them (and me) a whole heap of time. I think that most people these days immediately brush off staff members as a knee-jerk reaction because there is this underlying stereotype that all retail staff are just out to push the most expensive shit on you and suck you in buying a million things you don’t want or need. When someone comes into the shop I always offer a friendly greeting from across the store which has often been met with a frantic “NO I’M JUST LOOKING.” (Settle the fuck down, I only said “hi”!!) For the record, this is incredibly rude so don’t scream shit like that unless you are specifically asked a question.
So once you have gotten over your fear of being sold everything in the store that you don’t need and can’t afford, let the staff member know what you are looking for. They will show you where these items are in the store, and (if they are a good employee) describe some of the different styles to you. The more information you give them, the easier it will be to narrow down the search. Tell them what function you want the toy to be able to do, and don’t get worried that they will judge you or jack off thinking about you using the toy. TRUST ME ON THIS, the minute you leave the store I have already forgotten you and your sexual preferences, unless you are a regular (in which case, should you come back a month later it will probably jog my memory). But if you are a once-a-year dildo shopper, please understand that we do not give a shit that you are buying a thing to stick in your vag. If you’re embarrassed about your modest bullet purchase, then you would probably faint at my collection – so trust me, we have heard it all before and to us, sex toys are just products with features (they may as well be mobile phones the way we discuss them!).
The most important thing you can do is actually listen to the staff member when they are talking about the products – we know most of what there is to know about sex toys and in coming to our store, you are going to hear a decent amount of wisdom. We are not telling you that certain toys are better just because they are more expensive, we are telling you this because we want you to understand the difference between a quality toy and a piece of shit so that you can make an informed decision. We are doing this out of respect and care for you because we don’t want you to buy a crappy novelty rubber dildo that gives you a yeast infection and lasts two months – because then you may decide that you hate sex toys and you will never come back. We want to make you happy so that you will enjoy what you bought, and hopefully remember us the next time you want to buy something smutty. Like hookers, when it comes to sex toys, you get what you pay for – so don’t go sex toy shopping with a budget of $20 just because you got a crappy plastic vibrator once at Sexpo for $15.
Think about it – you are buying something to put in and around your moneymaker, so if you don’t actually care about the safety of your nether regions, then you should just shove a condom on a vegetable and save us staff the trouble of explaining why a novelty $15 dildo is not gonna be a good idea. Also, don’t bring along a loud-mouthed bogan friend who thinks they know everything – 99% of the time, they don’t. If I had 10c for every time that I had to shoot down the incorrect advice of your shitty mate who thinks that she is an expert just because she purchased a bottle of lube at a sex toy party at someone’s house once, I’d be able to get me a cask of wine and some lounge mix to go with it.
Having said all the above, it’s totally normal to have a budget in mind if you are the average person who doesn’t have unlimited money to burn all the time. Just don’t be an angry dick about it – let the staff member know so they can tell you if you’re wasting your time trying to buy Veuve Clicquot on a Passion Pop budget. Please don’t be one of those tedious people that get indignant and nasty just because things are more expensive than they were twenty years ago, or because this isn’t Bali and we don’t do “haggling”. I get it dude, I also used to only pay a tuppence to go to the movies and get an ice-cream at half time, but this is 2014, so let it go already. Retail staff do not dictate the economy, nor do they get to choose the prices of the toys – so chill out, because trying to get them to cut you a deal on a $40 toy is just going to embarrass everybody and make you look like an ass-hat. Laybys are still a thing these days so don’t be afraid to ask to layby it if you can’t afford it upfront.
When you buy a toy, you need to always get an antibacterial cleaner to clean it with – either in the form of a spray, or individual wipes. Sex store staff don’t offer cleaner to try and get more money out of you, they offer it because keeping your toy clean is extremely important. Many people think that using just soap and water, or sanitisers such as Dettol are okay. THEY ARE NOT OKAY!! Don’t ever use anything that contains alcohol or fragrances to clean a sex toy, this can give you a raging irritation. Sex toy cleaners should be antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal – don’t buy yourself a nice toy and then flag the cleaner to save money, that’s like buying a Rolls-Royce and letting the rain wash it for you.
For those of you who are too nervous to discuss sex toys in person with a staff member and are buying online, or are just knowledge-hungry, here are some good things to know about sex toys.
Silicone is the best material, because it is super durable, hypo-allergenic and non-porous, which means that over time, nothing is getting into the material. Glass and stainless steel are non-porous and durable, which make them great choices also. Avoid rubber, jelly (a mixture of rubber and PVC) and TPG, which all contain phthalates.
Phthalates are plasticisers which are used to soften plastics, and because they are not chemically bound to the plastics they’re added to, they’re continuously released into the air, or in this case, your chapel o’ love. They are health risks and are phased out of many products in the US and Europe, due to health concerns.
If you are not buying silicone, try to at least go for something that is phthalate-free, like TPR (thermoplastic rubber) or elastomer (eg Cyberskin) – look for “phthalate-free” written on the box.
2. Rechargeable vs. Battery-Powered
Rechargeable sex toys are hands-down the better option in my opinion, because they are stronger, quieter, and you never have to buy batteries. A rechargeable toy is also going to last a lot longer than a battery-powered toy, which is why so many of them offer 1-10 year warranties. Battery powered toys tend to be noisier (due to the battery case buzzing), weaker, and are more prone to dying earlier. When using a battery-powered sex toy it is important to never use lithium or rechargeable batteries, which can kill the motor – always use basic alkaline batteries and never leave them inside the toy. Another thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of vibrators are not fully waterproof. Staff will be able to tell you which vibrators are fully submersible, and these will most likely all be in the high quality rechargeable category. When a battery-powered vibrator has a “waterproof” logo on the box, this pretty much just means splash-proof, so getting water into the battery compartment or motor will probably still kill it after awhile.
For some reason, many people love to loudly and proudly inform me that they don’t need to use lubricant when they are getting a sex toy. Congrats on having a vat of olive oil between your legs lady, but in offering you lube I wasn’t implying that you are the Sahara down there. Sex toys are not your sugar daddy’s warm throbbing member, they are synthetic materials – therefore using lube is just going to make it a bunch more pleasant, whether it is for internal use or external use. The most important thing to keep in mind with lubricant is that you can’t use certain lubes with certain materials. Silicone lubricant will ruin silicone toys (with Lelo, this will actually void your massive warranty – it’s obvious when silicone lube has been used) and is also not recommended for condoms or Cyberskin/Fanta Flesh style materials. My advice is to only use a water-based lubricant when it comes to sex toys and condoms, and aim to get the quality concentrated stuff – avoid the cheap gluggy shit. The upfront cost is a little more, but you go through far far less of the good stuff than the cheap stuff, so you will end up spending a lot less over time if you buy the decent stuff from the get-go.
4. Shape and Function
Different vibrators have different functions, and are all shaped accordingly. Very small bullet-shaped vibrators are intended for external use only (take note men – if you want to put something in your butt, don’t buy a bullet. Tempting though it may seem to buy the smallest thing you can find for your tender virgin butthole, your butt will suck it right up there and you will need to go to the emergency room for retrieval). If you want a G-spot vibrator you will need to find one with a decent curve. There are rod-straight vibrators out there, but they aren’t very popular because they won’t do much except stab the everloving piss out of your cervix. For both external and internal stimulation, you need to look for what is commonly known as a rabbit vibrator (named so because the original design had rabbit ears on the clit stimulator). Rabbits have an internal shaft and a smaller clit stimulator, and are probably the most popular design nowadays, thanks in part to their appearance in Sex And The City. For men wanting prostate stimulation, you need something with a good curve to it (somewhat similar to the shape of a G-spot vibrator) so avoid anything straight, or short round plugs. With all anal toys it is imperative that they have a base or handle, for cautionary reasons described earlier.
Now that you have been armed with this most excellent of advice, I bid you all happy and safe masturbating!!!
Love, Chelle xoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo