Our bodies are made to please each other. We’ve got all the tools at hand (so to speak) to have really great sex. Tongues, fingers, lips, thighs and all manner of other body parts are perfectly designed to get someone off.

Sometimes, though, it’s good to try something new. While there are pretty much endless possibilities you can do with just your own or your partner’s body, there are sensations and activities you can only get from a sex toy.

You can use sex toys alone or with a partner. Many people, especially women, have difficulty reaching orgasm. Vibrators are a huge help for people who can’t easily climax.

Not all vibrators work for all people, but trying a little buzz is sometimes all it takes.

If you can, go to a sex shop where you can handle the toys and see what kind of vibrations seem appealing. Different toys have different vibration intensities, so shop around until you find one that seems like it will be pleasurable. Sometimes you might have to buy and try a vibrator or two down south before you find your perfect level of vibration. Start cheap, and you should be able to tell pretty quickly whether you need to buy a more or less powerful vibe.

You can get vibrators that are meant to be used internally, externally or some combination of the two. Most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, so it’s worth trying an external vibrator to see if that enhances your orgasm. Plus, you can use an external vibrator during intercourse to increase the likelihood of orgasm for the woman. Internal vibrators are great, too, if you enjoy vaginal stimulation.

Guys, vibrators aren’t just for the chicks. You can use them too, either for a little extra sensation on your balls and penis or anally (if you’re careful, use lube and clean up well). There are also many masturbation sleeves on the market, some of which include a built-in vibrator so that you can experience the good vibrations, too.

If you’re a woman and you want to penetrate your partner woman or man adding a strap-on to your play is a great way to spice things up. Fingers are all well and good, but women can have the fun of thrusting away, too. You can get a strap-on harness in a variety of materials and shapes. I recommend starting with a cloth harness so that you can see what you like before investing in one of the more expensive leather ones.

Besides just trying things that look like fun, there are a few rules of thumb when it comes to picking and using sex toys.

First, make sure you know what it’s made out of. There is a family of chemicals called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) that are mixed in with the plastic of many sex toys to make it more pliable. These chemicals are toxic and may be connected with cancer, so it’s best to avoid the jelly rubber toys that contain them. Safe materials include silicone (which can also easily be sterilized), hard plastic, elastomer, glass, acrylic, metal and wood.

Many toys now advertise that they are phthalate-free, so check the label of your toy before you buy it.

If it’s made out of silicone, don’t use it with a silicone-based lube.

The chemicals in the lube and the toy will mix and erode the material of your toy. You don’t want your dildo to start disintegrating inside you because you used it with the wrong kind of lube. Water-based lubes are best for silicone toys.

If you’re going to put it in your own or anyone else’s butt, make sure it has a flared base. The butt has some pretty strong muscles, and it can pull objects up and inside it if they don’t dramatically widen at the base.

The last thing you want is a trip to the emergency room because that bullet vibrator is stuck in your anus and you can’t get it out. Try to explain that medical bill to your parents.

Waddill is a member of the class of 2009.

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