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Before You Buy Your First Sex Toy

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Updated July 01, 2010

Buying your first sex toy is always a bit of a crapshoot. There’s no way to know what you’ll like without trying it, and while some sex shops do offer satisfaction guarantees, none offer “try out” rooms anymore (legend has it, some did back in the 80s). This doesn’t mean you can’t improve the chances of your first sex toy being one you’ll love. My best advice is to choose something inexpensive and versatile; something that will let you try different things and won’t turn you off sex toys altogether if it doesn’t do it for you and you now feel like you’ve wasted $100. Here are a few other tips before you buy.

Do Some Homework On Your Own

You may not know exactly what you want, but if you have an idea of what sort of stimulation you like it can help you narrow down the options. The best way to find this out is through masturbation. If you’re not comfortable with masturbation a sex toy isn’t going to solve that problem. Start on your own without sex toys. If you’re a bookworm you might want to pick up a good book about sex toys (if not there are plenty of online sex toy primers). Finally, don’t get ripped off, make sure you’re shopping at a reputable and ethical sex shop.

What Do You Want the Sex Toy to Do?

Most people choose sex toys based on utility. Sex toys are not made for particular kinds of people, they are made for particular kinds of sex play. Do you want something for external stimulation, penetration, or both? Do you want a toy that will do things on it’s own, or only one that moves when you do? Are you looking for a toy for anal play, a toy meant to be worn on the penis, clitoris, or nipples, something to increase or decrease sensation? There are no “best” answers to these questions, and the path to finding a sex toy you like can be as much fun as using the toy you end up with.

Alone, Together, or Both?

I said that sex toys aren’t made for specific people, but some are designed more for solo or partner play. Often when you get a sex toy that’s good for two each partner has to compromise something. Whereas if you’re only trying to please yourself there are fewer criteria to meet. Some couples end up with two toys they use together while others prefer simplicity and meet in the middle with one toy that is good enough for both.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

There isn’t always a correlation between quality and pleasure. An inexpensive sex toy can be just as much fun as a luxury toy, but it probably won’t last as long. Once you know what you like I do recommend investing in high end sex toys as they are less wasteful and often have better designs. But to start off with, unless you’ve got a lot of money to spend, I recommend sticking with budget toys until you know what you want. There’s nothing worse than spending $130 on a sex toy that ends up gathering dust under your bed.

Reacting to Your Sex Toy

Another consideration before you buy your first sex toy is whether you’ll have a bad physical reaction to the toy. While more sex toy manufacturers are taking this into account the majority of sex toys are still made of mystery materials that can cause painful allergic reactions. If you are prone to infections or allergic reactions, or if you live with a compromised immune system, be sure to ask about the safety of the sex toy material. If the sex shop doesn’t have an answer, don’t shop there.
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