When I first started exploring sex toys I was full of questions and wasn’t always sure where to find the answers. This was before social media and when the internet was helpful but lacking the diversity of opinions. Nowadays curious people Google, hit up social media, and check out blogs to answer their questions. I find when chatting with friends there are a lot of questions about sex, sex toys, and how to choose one! If you are new to sex toys this post will help you select a toy, care for your toy, and at the end of its life – dispose of a toy. I have also added my own experience in to each section. This post is aimed at those new to sex toys as a starting point for research and decision making on their first purchases.
If you are just starting to look into purchasing a sex toy you will be overwhelmed with information. Doing a quick search will yield a ton of these guides. Some are amazing and full of useful information, some are full of relatable scenarios, but some are full of misinformation. Below you will find suggestions to help streamline your research. As you use new toys you will learn about your own body and I encourage you to learn more about the toys you may purchase as well.
Selecting a Sex Toy
My experience: My biggest mistake as a sex toy newbie was not researching the different types of toys and the different uses for toys. I also knew nothing about the materials that the toys are made of. I boldly hosted a sex toy party, purchased a few things, and then didn’t really use them. I got a few exploratory sessions out of the way and then went back to using my hand to masturbate. These toys got tucked away and a jelly toy fused with a cyber-skin toy. I had also purchased various lubes and started experiencing regular mild infections. Perhaps if I had known more I could have selected better products and experienced more pleasure.
What I wish I had known: Your body and materials matter!
Your body is not like my body or the body of any other person out there. Use what you do know about your body to start guiding your research. You may know that you dislike penetration so don’t buy a dildo as your first toy. You may enjoy clitoral stimulation so buy a toy that is geared towards that form of stimulation. You may not know what makes your body purr yet and thanks okay – but keep that in mind when selecting a toy. As you become comfortable using toys start exploring new things at a comfortable pace.
Selecting a toy of the right material will ensure your toy is body safe and will last. 100% silicone, stainless steel, and glass are great materials to consider when doing your research. ABS Plastic is also a great material but make sure that it is phthalate free. Visit a store to touch these materials. Glass and steel are much more firm and offer zero flexibility however silicone offers a variety of densities and much more flexibility. Glass and steel are also great for temperature play. I suggest these materials because they are body safe, easy to care for, and will last! I am not an expert on materials but if you want more information contact me I am happy to point you to some great informative guides.
Using & caring for your new toy
My Experience: After selecting my toys I was excited to use them but didn’t consider how to properly take care of them until they were used laying on my counter. I hadn’t considered the possibility that inserting the wrong toy in my ass could have led to a hospital trip for removal, despite reading the comical stories in magazines. I hadn’t considered that inserting a toy in my vagina after using it in my ass could lead to infections.
What I wish I had known: You can’t put that there before washing it with soap and water!
If you intend to use a toy anally please oh please make sure it has a flared base. You do not want to be the patient in the ER having a toy removed from their ass! Your ass does not flush itself, it will pull items in. If you intend to use a toy anally please ensure that you do not then use it in a vagina, don’t even rub it against a vulva. Clean it immediately.
Lube is also an important consideration. Lube can be a great enhancement to start out with. Adding lube to your masturbation sessions or partnered activities will increase your enjoyment but is not as intimidating as introducing a toy for some. I enjoy sample packs that allow me to keep a variety of types on hand. Lube is your friend so pick some up! Rule of thumb is water based lubes can be used with most materials and silicone lube shouldn’t be used with silicone toys. Please be aware that some ingredients in lubes can contribute to infections for some. As we are each different you may need to try out a few different types to eliminate this. Sugars are a big culprit – so ingredients ending with -ose should be ones to avoid.
I suggest that in your research you examine how to care for the specific toy you are purchasing. If it has specific care instructions please follow them above my suggestions. You do not need to purchase a toy cleaner ! Soap and water is the most common cleaning method for toys made of glass, steel, or silicone. Many can also be boiled or placed in the dishwasher for full sterilization. Be mindful while cleaning your toys that you do not get water on or submerge any electrical components.
Caring for your toys also involves storing them correctly. If you have purchased a toy of lesser quality materials be mindful that they can start to disintegrate. Many toys come with a storage pouch which is a great option if you will just be storing a few toys. If you end up with too many in your collection it can be frustrating to find the one you’re looking for in the moment. Always ensure that your toys are stored clean to prevent any contamination of other clean toys.
Disposing your toy
My experience: Some toys will die. Some toys will die from manufacturer’s defects. Some toys will die because you screwed up – dropped it, accidently submerged it, and who knows what else. Some toys will simply die because they have lived their life. Some toys you just want to get rid of! In the past I just tossed them in my household garbage and didn’t think any further about it.
What I wish I had known: There are toy recycling programs out there that will ensure your toy is recycled in an environmentally safe manner. Also keep in mind that batteries shouldn’t be tossed in regular household garbage. My area has drop off locations and does battery collection occasionally. Here are the recycling programs that I know about:
Canada – Sextoyrecycling.ca is run by the wonderful people at Come as You Are. They currently only accept recycling from Canada.
UK – Love Honey has Rabbit Amnesty that recycles vibrating toys. The user pays postage, writes a brief note that they want it recycled, and sends it on its way. If you are willing to pay postage you could mail items internationally.