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G-spot dildos, dual action vibrators and fleshlights. These are not your childhood Barbie dolls and army men, but they provide more than just entertainment.

Sex toys are more available today than ever before, being sold in malls, boutiques and even some local Wal-Marts and CVS pharmacies.

According to national surveys from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 53 percent of women and nearly half of all men report having used a vibrator. Sex toy parties, which usually feature a group of women learning about and buying sex toys, have also become increasingly popular recently, especially as bachelorette parties.

With this rising market and emerging presence of self-pleasure tools, how do you sort through all of the different functions, shapes and sizes to find what is best suited for you?

Don’t skimp 

Regardless of your sex, you are still placing something inside your body and, for that reason, quality beats cost.

There is a reason why the sex toy market rakes in almost $7 billion worldwide and why many men and women will save up for that $50 vibrator. Safe is sexy.

Most safe sex toys are made of silicone or rubber, and you want to aim for easy to clean, hypoallergenic materials. Not to mention that you really don’t want to be admitted to the ER because you got a cheap vibrator stuck somewhere. Pretty sure Obamacare doesn’t cover that.

Do some research, but stick to what you know and like

It is actually quite daunting to go online and research sex toys — besides the fact that you have to keep glancing around every once in a while because you feel guilty or because you can hear your parents scolding you. There are just so many different categories.

The best way to combat this  issue is to think about your personal preferences and past experiences.

For beginners, you may want to start off with something simple, like a small traditional vibrator (internal and external functions), a bullet vibrator or a clitoral stimulator (external use only).

Once you figure out where and how you like to be touched, you can upgrade to slightly more complex sex toys, such as Rabbit or G-spot vibrators. Dildos are usually purely for penetrative action, and it’s always helpful to combine these with lube. Lots of it.

A clean sex toy is a happy sex toy

Though it is relatively safer to use sex toys than have sex with other people, there is still a risk of infection if you don’t clean your sex toy properly. Make sure to regularly inspect your B.O.B for cracks, scratches and other general wear and tear. Why shouldn’t you take care of your bedroom B.F.F. when it does such a good job of taking care of you?

There is no shame in self-pleasure 

Despite its many critics, masturbation is a safe and healthy way to relieve stress and a great opportunity to explore your body’s needs — when done correctly.

Other tools, such as pornography and romance novel smut (“50 Shades of Grey” ring a bell?) may help you in your quest for the ever-elusive orgasm. (Am I right, ladies?)


For more information, visit credible online sites or set up an appointment at UHS. Still feel uncomfortable or dirty about sex toys? Think of all the fun orgasms you’re more likely to have with them and all of the disappointment and complaints your friends have over sex with their human partners.

Gao is a member of
the class of 2014.

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