0 Items - £0.00
|Using Sex Toys Safely|
It's Good To Share (Safely)
Sex toys can be great fun as part of partnered sex but, as with most sex, there are risks of transmitting infections from one to another. Some bacteria and viruses can be carried on sex toys so, for safer sex, it's a good idea to either not share a toy (each person could play with their own toys) or to put a condom on a toy before it is inserted inside someone new. Using condoms is probably quicker and less of a passion killer than sterilising the toy in the middle of sex.
For solo sex there are also some safer sex issues too. Inserting a toy into one orifice and then another can be risky – particularly inserting anything in the anus before reinserting in the vagina (this is true for other kinds of anal and vaginal sex too). To make this safer put a condom on the toy before inserting anywhere else.
Right Tool Right Job
It's very important to use the right sex toy for the right purpose. Using a toy inappropriately can lead to a potentially very damaging embarrassing problems: as can using DIY approaches to sexual stimulation.
Small 'bullet' toys (like the Durex Mini Vibrator) are compact powerful toys which are great for providing a targeted vibration against the clitoris and on the outside of the vulva generally. However be very careful about inserting them in the vagina, particularly those which are shorter than 6 inches in length. These smaller vibrators can be difficult to hold as they often don't have handles – it's all too easy to lose hold of the toy and for it to go all the way inside the vagina. Retrieval can be very difficult (much like removing a tampon when the string has gone awry).
Many people like to use sex toys, with handles, for vaginal penetration. For stimulation on the outside and inside at the same time either use one of these toys with a 'bullet' vibe or use a rabbit (as made famous in -that- episode of Sex And The City): like our Beginner's Rabbit. For powerful stimulation to the G-spot area (on the front wall of the vagina) try the Freestyle G Vibrator.
Anal play requires lots of care and attention. Being relaxed and lubricated (as well as enthusiastically wanting to do it) are really important. However using the right toy is also very very important.
Toys for anal sex need to be smooth without seams or any sharp edges. They also need to have a wide base. Once something is inserted into the anus, the muscles can tighten and toys can be easily 'sucked' inside the bottom. Couple this with a well lubed anus and wet hands and it means that it's easier than you might think for toys to get lost inside. This can be serious and can lead to a trip to A&E (Accident and Emergency Department).
So for anal sex it's really important to use something which is designed for that purpose - for instance a Butt Plug which is smooth and rounded with a wide base– rather than something designed to stimulate the clitoris or vagina.
Speaking of designed for purpose, it's probably better to shop at a sex shop rather than a greengrocers or a hardware shop for sexy fun. Inserting anything inside anyone which can break or disintegrate (for instance suitably shaped vegetables) can be damaging. Also it's best to use bulldog clips, cable ties and elastic bands for their intended purpose rather than in your own DIY red rooms.
Sex toys are made out of a variety of different materials. Each have their own pluses and minuses in terms of hardness, flexibility, texture, how they transmit heat and how they can be cleaned. The range of different materials used in sex toys reflect the many ways that they are used: for instance hard plastic toys are good for providing external stimulation, but silicone or elastomer products might be better for insertion.
Some materials are going to suit some people's bodies more than others. Some people may develop an unwanted reaction to a toy, for instance a rash or soreness. This may indicate that a sensitive reaction could be happening – for instance it could contain latex, which many people have a sensitivity to. If this is the case with you (and you are sure that the toy is clean/sterile) then we recommend discontinuing use and trying a different material.
PVC/Jelly products contain a chemical called Phthalates (pronounced “thal-ates”) which are used to soften hard plastics, which is why they're used in sex toys. Some people prefer not to use sex toys containing this chemical as there has been research which suggests that this substance might have a detrimental effect on male fertility in later life.
Most new sex toys are not made from PVC/Jelly and we do not stock any products which are made from this material. Products which are made of silicone, plastic, TPE, TPR, vinyl, latex, glass or steel are phthalate free – this is clearly indicated on our website so you can be fully informed in your purchases.
Lube Glorious Lube
Any insertive sex* needs to involve lubrication. The vagina produces its own lubrication to allow a penis, or a finger to move in and out without discomfort. Some vaginas produce more wetness than others and wetness can vary, so sometimes a bit of extra lubrication can help greatly. Some people enjoy having anal sex: as the anus does not produce its own wetness like the vagina, lubricant is vital for any anal play.
When using sex toys it's important that there is lots of lubrication, particularly as toys can sometimes cause the vagina to dry up. There are many different kinds of lubricant which are available. Smooth, water based, fragrance free and glycerine free lubricants are the most popular - they work with all sex toys and are a great starting point for the lube newbie. Water based means that they wash away more easily and are safe to use with condoms (it's not a great idea to use oil based lubricants in the vagina). Try ID Glide or Liquid Silk for instance.
For anal sex there are thicker, longer lasting lubricants which many people find work very well for them. We recommend avoiding any product which contains a 'numbing' agent for anal sex (or any kind of sex). Pain shouldn't be ignored as it's a sign that we may be
damaging our bodies – entry sex should not be painful.
Many people are fans of silicone lubricant as it is less easily absorbed and so lasts longer than other lubes: however it can degrade sex toys made from silicone so best avoided if this is what your toy is made from.
There are also warming, cooling, tingling, flavoured and other lubes with ingredients to futher enhance sex. The key is to pay attention to what your body is saying. If you notice any unwelcome changes to your body as a result of a change in your lubricant then please change lubes.
*PS lubricant isn't just great for insertive sex. Masturbating the penis and clitoris with lubed up hands and fingers can feel really good. Some lubes can even double up as great massage creams.
Time For An Upgrade?
Many people have their favourite sex toys which they look after and treasure over many years. These trusted servants may have given them years of pleasure and countless orgasms and may even have been given names by their owners. But sometimes it's time to send these vibrators, dildos, butt plugs to a better place (please, not the charity shop).
If your toy is cracked or grazed or eroded in anyway it's much more likely to pick up germs. Keeping sex toys clean is important and this is much more difficult to do if the surface of the toy is no longer smooth and fresh. If this is the case, it's time to upgrade.
If you haven't bought a toy for a while you might be surprised at the high quality materials that are on offer now. Most of the new toys are made out of silicone, which feels soft but are very hard wearing. These products may cost a little more but their durability and sleek looks make them great value. For instance check out our range of Lelo products.
If It Feels Good, Do It....
And if it doesn't, stop. As with any sex, sex with a toy should not feel painful or uncomfortable. So long as you are feeling relaxed, comfortable, turned on and lubricated sex toy sex should feel good – how good is down to you and how well you know and understand how your body and mind work.
If you are using the toy on yourself you might well have a pretty good idea of what you like, what your limits are and when something isn't feeling good. You can have a break, change position, angle, apply more lube, try different kinds of genital or non-genital stimulation or just stop and try again later on.
If you're having sex with someone else and using your fingers and/or penis, it's also easier to get an idea of how far and how quickly to thrust, how hard, what kind of pressure to apply and how much lubrication is needed. When you're using your own equipment you have years of experience to draw on.
However if you find yourself with a new complicated piece of equipment in your hands, things can be a bit more tricky. As well as working out which end goes where, how to turn the bloody thing on and off and how to make it go buzz-buzz rather than burrrrrrr you
also have to work out how your partner likes to use it.
This is where communication is really important. Go slowly and check in with the toy owner about how they like to play with it. Don't be afraid of asking how things are feeling, at least for the first few times while you learn and remember what works well. If you are the toy owner be specific about how you like to use it and give a running commentary about how things are feeling until they have enough data to be able to use it effectively. If things are not feeling good please say so.
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
Some people worry that their sex toy, particularly their vibrating sex toy, will desensitise their genitals to the extent that they will need more and more intense vibrations in order to have an orgasm. There is no evidence to suggest that sex toys desensitise people in any permanent way.
Our genitals may feel a bit numb after intercourse, masturbation with fingers or with sex toys (just as we may feel a bit numb after a heavy massage), but this feeling only lasts for a few minutes.
It is possible for us to get used to only one way of enjoying sex and/or having an orgasm. For some it might be masturbating the penis with the right hand whilst watching porn, for others it may be the 'on top' position and for others it might be a bullet vibe held hard against the clitoris. If you're feeling that you're getting stuck in a sex rut then it's possible to practise and learn new ways to give you and your partner sexual pleasure. But this applies to all kinds of sexual contact, not just using sex toys.
Enjoying sex using a toy is not 'cheating'. There is no 'real' sex and 'not-real' sex. If you want to use a sex toy every time you have any sex that's ok. If you want to change things around a bit then do.