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Our best tips on buying your first sex toy?

New to sex toys? Not even sure where to start? Let our 8 top tips guide you to buying your first sex toy.

Whenever someone asks me this question, I think there are three key things to consider. 

1) Where are you looking to be stimulated?

Do you prefer internal (vaginal/g-spot) or external (clitoral) stimulation? Is it dual? Is it anal? Pick an area of focus to start.

2) Is it for solo or partnered use?

If it’s solo, it’s purely around your goals and desires. If it’s partnered, think if you want it for foreplay or during penetration. Also think if it’ll still be purely for use on yourself or use on your partner as well. 

3) What sensation are you looking for?

Most sex toys are broadly divided into “vibrating” or “rumbling”. Vibrating will make you orgasm quicker, rumbling is a deeper longer sensation known for coaxing out orgasms in people who struggle to climax. If you enjoy oral sex, clitoral suction devices are the closest to mimicking this. 

A good way to figure this out is to start with your hands (or someone else's) and explore your body. Get to know what brings you pleasure. Once you have established those points, then the world of sex toys feels much more navigable without feeling overwhelmed. I also think it’s important to emphasise that you might not fall in love with the first toy you buy. That’s ok! Don’t let it put you off. Take every opportunity as one to learn your body and pleasure better. Your aesthetic is key too. For example, if you’re a pink person, pick a pink toy! Lastly, I tend to advise to start small and work their way up to bigger, more powerful toys. The last thing you want to be is overwhelmed then never take it out the box. 

In what ways can a sex toy change up, or improve your self-pleasuring? 

Sex toys allow you to feel completely different sensations to what you would experience in any other form of sexual pleasure. By tapping into the different modes and different locations of use, you can open yourself up to a whole new world of excitation. It can also help you to experience orgasms in a different way. For example, if you’ve never been able to have a g-spot orgasm or squirted, certain sex toys a renowned for being help with these. 

We’ve all seen that Sex & The City episode, about Charlotte and her Rabbit vibrator. Is it okay to become reliant on your sex toy? 

I hate the term “reliance”! If a certain toy is the best or only way for you to orgasm, then of course use it during both solo and partnered sex. Sex should have pleasure (regardless of orgasm) at it’s epicentre. Sex toys are primarily toys, it’s in the name. They should be fun. They’re also tools for improving our wellness and an additive to any sensual experience. Don’t be afraid of using them in your life, the same way to use your yoga mat to enhance your practice. 

Anything that makes you feel good has the capability of being addictive. Exercise, food, alcohol, drugs and sex all release the same biochemical cocktail in your body to make you feels oh-so-good. If the amount you’re using your sex toy is distressing you or it starts to interfere with your day to day life, then it is probably time to seek some professional support. 

Will a sex toy change the way you like to be pleasured or orgasm with a sexual partner? 

There are plenty of physical health benefits to regular masturbation. To start, the more you masturbate, the better your body gets at recognising sexual stimuli. This means you’ll get more relaxed and wetter quicker. Certain toys, such as kegal balls (look a Kandid’s The Jiggly One or The Rumbly One), are known to improve pelvic floor strength which can lead to stronger orgasms and multiple orgasms. People are often told that overuse of vibrators can lead to difficulties orgasming due to desensitisation. However, using vibration can actually improve sensitivity to nerve endings, which your clitoris has over 8000 of, meaning sex can be even more pleasurable. Sex toys in general can help you explore what you enjoy sexually, whilst increasing your self-esteem, making the “I enjoy this..” conversation a much easier one to have. 

Is there any ‘prep’ you should do before using your sex toy? (For hygiene purposes e.g. cleaning, or comfort e.g. lube)

It’s really important to clean your toys before and after use. This is because certain infections can live on sex toys, which could lead to reinfection or infecting someone else if you’re using them for partnered sex. Soap and water will work just as well as a specialist toy cleaner, just make sure you do it! It’s also important to wash your hands before and after too...if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s how nasties can linger on your hands. Toys don’t have the same natural tactility or lubrication when compared to skin, so for both internal and external toys, it’s advised to use lube for an enhanced, more comfortable experience. It is best to use a water-based lubricant, as they’re kindest on skin and don’t damage toys. Never use silicone lube with a silicone toy! Just be aware that not all lubricants are vegan, so check the packaging prior to buying. 

Can you decode vibration settings for our first time buyer/user? Is a higher vibration ‘better?’ Or should someone start on a lower vibration frequency and work their way up? 

We all have different bodies and different anatomy, don’t expect what you enjoy to be the same as anyone else's. This is why toys come with a variety of settings! Keep scrolling through them until you find the one that works best for you. Don’t expect it to be the same setting that gets you off every time you use the toy as well. Tension, hormones and environment will all affect the stimulation that you require on a day to day basis. 

Can you suggest a sex toy that focuses on clitoral stimulation and explain why it’s features make it a good selection for first-time sex toy buyers? 

I’d recommend The Little One for a first time clitoral stimulator. Based on the famous ears of the Rampant Rabbit, they can be used to stimulate directly onto the clitoris or around the clitoris on the hood for those looking for a less intense experience. It’s small, making it perfectly portable and so cute that no one could be intimidated by it! It’s designed to fit comfortably in one hand with easy to use buttons that can scroll through 12 different settings of speed and intensity.  

Can you suggest a sex toy that focuses on penetration and explain why it’s features make it a good selection for first-time sex toy buyers? 

I’m personally a big fan of The Ribbed One. This is a rumbly toy, creating those big deep rumbles into the pelvis for sustained pleasure. It’s the perfect ergonomic design for comfortable insertion and exploration of your g-spot. As the name suggests, it’s ribbed, which both mimics the vaginal canal and creates further stimulation. I also love the way the unicorn lights up and changes colour as you run through the 9 different settings! 

Any other tip, advice or thoughts you might have for Masturbation Month? 

This masturbation month is a very different one to any other that we’ve celebrated, as social distancing means that solo-sex is the safest sex we can be having. The heightened anxiety at present also means we need to be making our mental and emotional wellbeing paramount. Masturbation is a safe and healthy wellness tool for us all. Enjoy. 

About the Author

Dr Elesha Vooght is a sexual wellness doctor at Kandid

Written by Dr Elesha Vooght, Sexual Wellness Doctor at Kandid

Dr Elesha Vooght is the sexual wellness doctor at Kandid. By day (or night), Dr Elesha is an NHS junior doctor with her clinical experience spanning from gynaecology and urology to psychiatry and public health. Pleasure and its role in health is her passion in all areas of her practice.

Follow Dr Elesha on Instagram @dr.elesha

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