Frequently Asked Questions about Sex Toys

Contents

Because There Is No Knowledge That Is Not Power.

They say knowledge is the key to every mystery in life, and sex toys are no exception. Today’s sex toy industry is overflowing with options for the individual and the couple, with user-friendly features that range in size, shape, color, dimension and functionality. But with so many choices and so little information available, how is anyone expected to find the right one and/or maximize their sex toy’s potential? Only by getting a proper education on the subject can any self-respecting, sexually active adult ever experience the magical things I have. Here are the top # most frequently asked questions about sex toys in general, presented to help gain a better understanding of what you’re up against.

Q: What Are Sex Toys?

Technically, a sex toy is any object you can use to produce sexual arousal, pleasure or climax for yourself or another person. In ancient times, popular sex toys included old hollowed-out loaves of bread and carved chalk dildos. These days, thankfully, sex toys include high-tech luxury-grade products with ergonomic features and couples-friendly interfaces. A legitimate sex toy, or marital aid, is now defined as a man-made device which delivers sexual stimulation and pleasure to the user and/or to the user’s partner. This official definition keeps those homemade Fifis on the list but it renders veggie dongs obsolete.

Q: Why Do People Use Sex Toys?

It’s hard to say why any one person uses a sex toy. The reasons why someone would like or dislike a synthetic marital aid is based on countless individual factors, including but never limited to the person’s personality, the conditions of their love life, their partner’s wishes, their sexuality, their romantic intentions, their budget, the presence of unsatisfied fantasies, any physical limitations, the need for stamina training and the desire for general sexual exploration through safe and healthy means. Sex toys allow people to fully customize their sexual experiences through a wide range of features and design options, providing men and women with the opportunity to make or break their own rules.

Q: What Types of Sex Toys Are There?

The global sex toy market is perhaps the most diversified out of all the synthetic luxury products combined. With dozens of different types and hundreds of variations within each category, it’s virtually impossible to list them all without writing a novel. However, the most common sex toys usually include the following top-sellers.

  • Cock Rings
  • Dildos (Dongs)
    • Realistic
    • Fantasy-inspired
    • Squirting
    • DIY
  • Vibrators, such as:
    • Rabbit vibes
    • Vibrating bullets
    • Wands
    • Panties
  • Prostate Massagers (P-Spot Stimulators)
  • Butt Plugs
  • Anal Beads
  • Male Masturbators (Automatic or Manual)
  • Pocket Pussies
  • Sex Dolls and Torsos
  • Twerking Asses
  • BDSM Tools, such as:
    • Hand/Feet restraints
    • Electrostimulation toys
    • Floggers, whips and ticklers
    • Pussy and nipple clamps
    • Cock cages
    • Ball gags
  • Penis Enhancers, such as:
    • Topical creams, lotions and/or ointments
    • Penis pumps
    • Penis extenders
  • Pussy Pumps
  • Strap-On Harnesses, including:
    • Strapless strap-on dildos using attached anal stimulators
  • Novelty Items, such as:
    • Combination toys
    • Product kits
    • Games
    • Accessories

The sex toy market continually expands, so keep your eyes peeled for new inventions as time goes on. Pay close attention to your favorite brands, since they’re usually the leaders of industry innovation.

Q: What Happens If I Don’t Like a Sex Toy After I Use It?

Some of today’s best sex toys require quite a bit of cash. For modern-day sex toy fans, curating a decent collection now takes a lot of time and plenty of money. However, no sex toy is a one-size-fits-all device that pleases everybody. And while you’ll probably get it messy during the test drive, some devices come with a manufacturer’s warranty or a money-back guarantee in the event that it breaks or you’re not completely satisfied with the results. Regardless of the toy’s initial cost, keep in mind that such safeguards are relatively rare in today’s industry and most of the time they can only be obtained through reputable manufacturers who are confident in their product’s quality. If you try out a sex toy and it ends up being a disappointment, hold the maker accountable.

Q: How Do I Register My Sex Toy’s Warranty?

Depending on the manufacturer, warranty registration is typically  a simple online process. However, some brands make you fill out and send in a card through the mail. Check the box’s label or the instruction manual for information pertaining to your specific product. Usually, sex toy warranties must be registered within the first 30 days of your purchase, so try not to miss the window. Unregistered sex toys are usually not eligible for replacements, repairs or reimbursements unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. Seek help from the brand’s customer service team if you’ve missed the deadline, lost the registration card or can’t find the correct page on the website.

Q: How Do I Know When to Throw My Sex Toy Away and Get a New One?

Despite the convenient warranties offered by some brands, sex toys eventually wear out and need replaced. The most obvious sign that it’s time for a new one is damage to the outer layer of the toy’s material. If it’s unnaturally bumpy, cracked, broken or torn, it’s time to introduce it to the garbage can. Just be sure your device isn’t under warranty before you throw it away. Some manufacturers will fix any broken parts or even replace the entire device if it becomes defective during the user’s lifetime. Either way, get rid of your sex toy when it stops functioning as expected or when it no longer suits your needs. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sex toy recycling center yet.

Q: How Do I Dispose of My Old Sex Toys Properly?

Simply throwing your old sex toys into the trash receptacle is generally considered acceptable unless you share your space with nosey housemates or neighbors. Recycling sex toys is difficult because of the wide variety of components in each one. Only toys made from one or two recyclable materials are worth the effort anyway. In some cases, you may need to remove the batteries before tossing the toy in the trash or recycling because sending batteries to the dump is a mistake and a crime in some states. Other times, you may want to just wrap up or cover the device to maintain some of your dignity in the neighborhood. There are no special disposal instructions for most of today’s sex toys, despite the fact that they’ve been shoved where the sun don’t shine, which officially qualifies them as a biohazard.

Q: How Do I Find a Sex Toy That I Know Will Last?

Warranties, easy maintenance and simple disposal aside, most people just want a sex toy that’s good and reliable. Finding a durable sex toy isn’t as hard as it seems though, especially not with so many well-known manufacturers vying for your attention. To pin down the perfect product, always start by reading a buyer’s guide for that specific toy. There’s guaranteed to be at least one factor you forgot to consider, plus a comprehensive buyer’s guide can help you determine what to look for, what to avoid and how to go about using your selections to the greatest benefit. Once you’ve successfully completely your shopper’s education, begin reading reviews on each of the toys you’re considering to avoid getting ripped off by clever marketing.

Q: There Are So Many Options. How Do I Choose the Best Sex Toy for Me and/or My Partner?

Besides knowing what a sex toy is, being educated on the proper use of one, and gathering intel about ways to find the best model, determining your ideal sex you requires a close and careful consideration of a few personal matters. For starters, find out if you or anyone you have sex with has any skin sensitivities and/or allergies to certain materials. Secondly, study your unique body types and openly discuss your sexual desires. There’s a sex toy out there for everybody, but no amount of buyer’s guides will help you find the right one if you’re unsure about what you and/or your partner(s) want.

Q: Can I Have a Sex Toy Custom Made or Are There Customizable Devices Available?

In today’s world, you can have just about anything custom-made to suit your individual needs if you spend enough cash. As for the regular folks who want to enjoy a tailored sexual experience without refinancing their house, there are luckily several customizable features to explore. Between personally molded dildos and porn star-inspired sleeve textures, customizable orifices, virtual reality connectivity, Bluetooth capabilities, motion sensing features, and sync-to-toy technologies, the average Joe or Jane can get the same bang for his or her buck as the millionaires who waste their money on solid gold dildos. And those exist too, but they usually have to be commissioned by an artist or purchased with credit through a willing manufacturer.

Q: I Want to Buy Something for My Partner, but I Don’t Want to Freak Them Out. How Should I Introduce Sex Toys into the Bedroom?

Each couple is unique in how they view and enjoy sex and/or masturbation. Therefore, introducing sex toys into your relationship should include a conversation about the matter prior to going shopping. If the topic is left open-ended, feel free to explore the options available to you online or at your local adult entertainment store. A good rule of thumb is to keep things simple at first; start small and iterate relentlessly if necessary. Remember, practice makes perfect and nobody knows what to do their first time. Try to be encouraging and supportive of your partner until they’re comfortable with the new addition to your relationship. Always respect their boundaries and never force them to do anything they don’t want to do or else you’ll never get away with using sex toys again.

Q: Do I Need Any Special Equipment or Skills to Use Sex Toys?

There is no special skillset required to use most modern-day sex toys. All you need is a good sexual intuition and enough time to get your hands dirty. However, some of the more complex models do call for a fundamental understanding of engineering and/or the human body. Accessories are usually available for the higher-end devices, although that’s not a steadfast rule. Either way, those add-on parts are not necessary for you to enjoy your sex toy and are only designed to enhance the experience. Common equipment required for a robust experience typically includes but isn’t always limited to the following things:

  • Sex Furniture
  • Swings/Slings
  • Shower Mounts
  • Phone Straps
  • Male Masturbator Sleeves
  • Sleeve Warmers
  • Automatic Stroking Devices
  • Smart Phone Apps
  • Personal Lubrication
  • Virtual Reality Goggles
  • Mobile Data and/or Internet Connection
  • USB Charging Ports
  • Specialized Toy Cleaners

Each additional piece of equipment is optional but is generally made to increase the amount of pleasure that you and/or your partner experience during sex and/or masturbation. Furthermore, each accessory mentioned requires its own skillset to operate properly. See your toy’s instruction manual for more information.

Q: How Do I Get Help with My Sex Toy After I Purchase It?

Most modern-day sex toy manufacturers employ knowledgeable staff to answer questions and address the concerns of their customers. The mode of operation can vary widely, but there’s usually someone available during regular business hours. Some brands even offer round-the-clock customer service through chat on the main page of their website. Either way, always contact the manufacturer if you have specific questions regarding your purchase, its warranty, or the usage instructions included in the box. Many representatives are trained to remotely troubleshoot minor mechanical problems too, so don’t give up hope until you’ve reached out to the right people.

Q: Why Do Some Rechargeable Sex Toys Require Batteries?

Some rechargeable sex toys require additional commercial batteries for the external, wireless remote that’s included with it. So, while the device itself can be recharged via electricity or USB, the remote controller must be supported by another kind of power source. The most common batteries required are your standard AAA, AA, C, or D varieties. Rarely do sex toys take 9-volt or watch batteries. As always, check the specs on your toy to be sure about what’s needed.

Q: How Often Should I Change the Batteries in My Sex Toy(s)?

Generally speaking, you should change the batteries in your sex toy or sex toy remote at least once every 3 to 6 months. Old batteries have a tendency to leak their acids into the housing of your sex toy, rendering the mechanical components useless over time. TIP: Leaving your sex toys out in the open or in extreme temperatures can shorten the battery’s life expectancy tremendously. Not only that, but doing so can also make the fluids leak despite the age of the battery itself. Keep in mind that each battery type has its own unique shelf life, so determine that information ahead of time to save yourself some trouble. Some manufacturer’s warranties include coverage for damage caused by prolapsed batteries, but that’s not always the case and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Q: How Do I Properly Clean and Maintain the Sex Toys in My Collection?

Sex toy curation and ownership is a privilege, not a right. And as with any privilege, this one comes with a mountain of responsibilities. Properly cleaning and maintaining your devices isn’t always easy, but it’s most certainly necessary. Depending on a number of factors, the clean-up routine will vary slightly. Most of the time, however, post-sex janitorial work includes a quick bath in warm water with an antibacterial soap. Just be sure your sex toy is waterproof before trying to clean it like that. Some toys require special attention and specialized cleaning solutions or renewal powders to keep them fresh. Read and follow the care instructions included with your toy to safely err on the side of caution.

As for proper maintenance of your sex toys, an adequate cleaning routine will take you further than anything else ever will. Still, even diligently scrubbed sex toys can gather dirt, debris and lint from the air in the room. This is especially true with toys made with skin-like materials. Therefore, responsible sex toy ownership always involves the use of a protective storage container, either purchased separately or acquired through the manufacturer. If you’re still shoving your toys into your bedside drawer, it’s time to stop. Also, don’t forget to register for any warranties provided to protect yourself from any mechanical malfunctions.

Q: Can a Sex Toy Hurt Me and/or My Partner?

Good sex toys are made to provide you and/or your partner pleasure without causing either of you any physical harm. However, knowledgeable use of your toys plays a big role in how safe everyone is during playtime. Regardless, well-made marital aids can’t hurt you if you use and maintain them as directed. Never play with dirty, pre-owned sex toys. Don’t forget to clean yours off after every use. Remember to slap on plenty of personal lubricant to reduce friction, drag, and potential damage to your device. Slowly explore the toy’s various features and functions to avoid damage or injury. And last but never least, don’t forget to communicate with your partner and be honest with yourself about what you want and need out of each sex or masturbation session. If someone gets hurt or starts to feel uncomfortable, stop what you’re doing immediately and rethink your approach.

Q: Why Should I Use Lube with My Sex Toys?

Lubrication is an important part of any activity that involves moving parts rubbing up against one another. So, whether those moving parts are on a sex toy or your body doesn’t matter. The important thing here is to understand that adequate amounts of personal lubrication can achieve many marvelous things. Not only does lube enhance the sensations you feel during sex or masturbation but it also protects your skin from infection and irritation caused by friction and bacteria. When using sex toys, lube is especially beneficial. The human body can produce its own lubrication, but a sex toy cannot. Furthermore, some sex toys actually require lube to function properly. Think: Squirting Dildos.

Q: Is There a Specific Type of Lubrication Required for Sex Toys?

There are no worthy personal lubricants marketed exclusively for sex toy use, but not all lubes can be used on all sex toys. To make things a littler easier on people, some manufacturers have started offering a free sample of their suggested lubricant when you purchase one of their products. Regardless, most manufacturers create sex toys that are made from materials that aren’t compatible with all lube types. Generally speaking, water-based lubes are your best bet for sex, masturbation and sex toy enjoyment since they’re 100% hypoallergenic and harmless to all sex toy materials. Oil-based lubes last a bit longer but they can stain your fabrics, are hard to wash off, and may do damage to sex toys made out of silicone. Silicone-based lubes are the longest-lasting but they tear down your sex toy’s material quicker than throwing it in a fire. Make sure the lube you choose is compatible with the sex toy you’re using to prevent a disaster.

Q: What’s the Best Material for a Sex Toy?

Sex toy materials are designed to be extremely versatile and durable due to the nature of the product’s intended use. However, it’s crucial for you to take a few key factors into consideration when selecting the material for your next sex toy. While silicone, thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are the top three most commonly used options, not all manufacturers use that sort of high-end, skin-safe stuff. Many sex toy makers are still using ingredients like phthalates, parabens and latex to make their products more pliable and appealing. Materials with those ingredients are not only dangerous but they’re also not nearly as robust as silicone, TPE or PVC. Furthermore, “economic” materials don’t always stand up to the lube test, even if that lube is made to be compatible with everything.

Q: Are All Sex Toys Safe for All Skin Types and Body Shapes?

Modern-day sex toys are as varied as the people who use them, with all sorts of shapes and sizes to choose from and a huge selection of features to match. Unfortunately, that means there is no one-size-fits-all option. While most sex toys are appropriate for the average body type and can be used by people with sensitive skin, some toys feature shapes and/or sizes that are displeasing or uncomfortable to certain users. It’s important for you to carefully consider the body types involved. Also, be sure you know whether anyone has an allergy to certain materials. Today’s best sex toys are incredibly user-friendly and made to accommodate the needs of the average person, but if you exist above or below that average you’ll want to shop diligently for the right product. Don’t settle for the first thing you see, especially since most sex toy makers offer several different versions of the same item.

Q: A Friend Told Me I Could Use My Favorite Sex Toys Either Vaginally or Anally. Is That True?

The majority of contemporary sex toys are designed for use in/on a specific body part. For example, cock rings are made for penile stimulation only and pussy pumps are made for vaginal pleasure exclusively. However, some sex toys are shaped and sized in such a way that they can technically be used on several body parts. Examples are dildos, vibrators, prostate massagers, and anal beads – four prime contenders for the Most Versatile Sex Toy Award. So, your friend is right: Some devices can double or triple as other sex toy types to provide a wide range of sensations, but only responsible use makes that possible. Never swap between anal/vaginal sex toys without thoroughly cleansing the device as directed by the manufacturer before inserting into the alternate orifice. Or as they say on the streets, “You never go ass-to-mouth.”

Q: How Do I Determine the Ideal Size and/or Shape for My Sex Toys?

Determining the perfect size and/or shape of your next sex toy isn’t difficult. It only takes a careful consideration of the body types and intentions involved. How large or small do you need your sex toy to be for it to deliver satisfying sensations? Do you need a device shape or size that’s conducive with a specific kind of sex or can a more versatile toy suffice? There is right or wrong answer here. It’s all about finding out the comfort zones of the people using the toy in question. Keep in mind, however, that some of today’s best sex toys are designed to grow with you and/or your partner as you both begin to explore your sexual boundaries.

Q: What’s the Difference Between a Dildo and a Vibrator?

Although a dildo and a vibrator are somewhat similar, their overall functionality is quite different. In general, dildos are penis-like marital aids that have a variety of realistic or fantasy-inspired features including bulbous heads, veined shafts and textured balls. Some dildos up the ante with a solid dual core construction to give the resemblance and sensations of a true erection. Some dildos even have optional vibration functions for you and/or your partner to scroll through. Vibrators, on the other hand, can be dildo-like in shape and size but they can also be shaped like a bullet or made specifically for clitoral or anal stimulation. However, vibrators comprise a somewhat vague category because the feature has been incorporated into so many modern-day sex toys due to its overwhelming popularity.

Q: What’s the Difference Between a Butt Plug, Anal Beads and a Prostate Massager?

Butt plugs, anal beads and prostate massagers, oh my! The wonderful world of backdoor smashing sex toys can be confusing to the average newbie. Here’s how it all breaks down: Butt plugs are stationary sex toys that are made to stimulate the prostate gland and/or perineum. They can be used vaginally as well, but the majority of butt plugs are enjoyed anally alongside another device. As for prostate massagers, they’re a lot like butt plugs except for the fact that they’re ergonomically gifted and often feature vibration functions, perineum stimulators and/or attached cock rings for added pleasure. Prostate massagers can also be used in tandem with other sex toys, although they’re generally considered a decent stand-alone device. Anal beads are something different entirely. Attached on a string of varying lengths and often undulating from rather small to extremely large, anal beads are a series of balls that stimulate the p-spot and/or g-spot when inserted and removed. Ideal for tag-teaming with sex toys and capable of performing double penetration with enough length, well-made anal beads are not only easy to use but also simple to maintain. In fact, most butt plugs and prostate massagers are the same way.

Q: What’s the Difference Between a Sex Swing and a Sex Sling?

The difference between a sex swing and a sex sling is minor, but it requires a major consideration on you and/or you partner’s behalf before selecting which one is right for you. A sex swing is a physical restraint and support apparatus that’s suspended by a hook on the ceiling or doorway. It often features straps for the arms and legs, some with adjustable components and comfortable padding, some without. The primary use of a sex swing is to weightlessly position yourself or your partner however is desired in the moment without needing manual strength or other sex furniture. Most sex swings swivel and turn on an axis and they’re all made from different materials including nylon, cotton, polyester and leather.

Sex slings, on the other hand, is a piece of stationary sex furniture that’s used to help partners perform in a dominant/submissive roleplaying game. Instead of being a device that you or your partner sits inside of, slings are worn . Consisting of a series of straps that get secured around the neck for anchoring, sex slings use the body’s own leverage to keep the wearer’s legs and hips in the air. Most sex slings feature an open-ended design with leg inserts for support and they’re all made from different materials too. For the most part, sex slings are less expensive and more travel-friendly than sex swings, but sex swings are a lot more comfortable and much easier to use.

Q: What’s the Difference Between a Penis Pump and a Penis Extender?

Penis pumps and extenders are two of the most commonly confused products on the modern-day sex toy market. Officially classified as “penis enhancement devices,” penis pumps and penis extenders may sometimes use the same techniques or produce similar results, but they’re most certainly not the same thing. On top of that, penis pumps and penis extenders function completely differently and that’s what’s most important. Some of today’s higher-end options have blurred the lines between the two, but here are the basic differences:

Penis pumps are hollow chambers that use suction or traction to encourage better blood flow to the penis instantaneously. Pumps can be used in the open air or under water depending on the design, and their subsequent results are typically temporary or semi-permanent depending on the device and its proper use (or lack thereof). Not designed for long-term wear, penis pumps are most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. Alternatively, penis extenders are more mechanically complex and use long-term traction to promote cellular growth, which results in an eventual increase in penis length and/or girth. Not designed for immediate “plumping” of the organ, penis extenders are more commonly used to treat Peyronie’s Disease.

Q: Is It Ok to Use My Sex Toys Frequently?

According to modern science, frequent masturbation is not only normal but it’s also healthy. Routine ejaculation and sexual satisfaction poses many advantages for the individual in the driver’s seat. Some of the most common health and wellness benefits of a well-rounded sex life include: a boosted mood, decreased blood pressure, more balanced sleep cycles, decreased pain (including migraine headaches), and improved sexual stamina. People who use carefully purchased and/or customizable sex toys are more likely to enjoy a satisfying orgasm. Therefore, masturbating with a sex toy frequently is generally considered a safe and healthy alternative to manual masturbation and/or intercourse.

Q: Can Couple’s Sex Toys Be Used Independently?

The versatility of any sex toy is based on its features and design. Many of today’s best sex toys for couples have components which make them equally satisfying as a personal-pleasure device. In fact, a large percentage of people who purchase couple’s sex toys do so without even being in a relationship. Some models do require another partner for optimal results, but most couples-friendly sex toys can be used during solo missions just the same (minus a few of the interactive/remote features). If you want to experience everything the device has to offer on “couples-friendly” mode but you don’t have a partner, look for something that offers virtual reality or Bluetooth capabilities for interactive play even when you’re alone.

Q: How Do I Store My Sex Toys When I’m Done With Them?

After enjoying your sex toys as directed by the manufacturer be sure to also follow their care and maintenance instructions as well. Many toys come with their own storage container but that’s not always the case. Either way, always store your sex toys in a clean, dry place that’s free from exposure to extreme temperatures and/or moisture. Common hiding places include: bedside tables, underwear drawers, closets and beneath beds. As long as the toy is protected from dirt, debris and discovery, you should be fine.

Q: How Do I Clean My Sex Toys When I’m Done With Them?

Properly cleaning your sex toys requires paying close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions in the device’s manual. Not all sex toys can be cleaned in the same way, although most of them require little more than a quick rinse under warm, running water with an antibacterial soap. Higher-end models may require specialized cleaning solutions or renewal powders because of the porosity of their materials. As always, be sure to check that your device is water-resistant before cleaning it, and never forget to disinfect your sex toys immediately after every use and/or between use on the vagina and anus.