Buying your first sex toy (or second, or third) can feel risky if you don’t want anyone to know, but there are a bevy of online retailers that can help. Amazon is great for this because it’s discreet and the reviews will give you the real lowdown, but plenty of other e-shops also sell toys, lubricants, condoms, and everything else you need to feel comfortable and safe. Most packaging you’ll receive doesn’t reveal what’s inside, either, so whatever you wind up buying remains personal for you — and perhaps whomever you share the purchase with.
“The vast majority of people who come to us are looking to buy a vibrator for the first time, but then are also partners who want to buy it as a gift or people who are looking to try something new,” says Polly Rodriguez, the founder of online shop Unbound. “Maybe they are interested in BDSM or massage.” She says that when shopping for a sex toy, you should aim to “understand what the high-level use case is that you’re looking to buy a product for.” In other words, spend some time thinking about how you’ll realistically be incorporating it into your life.
With Rodriguez’s guidance and the help of some brutally honest Amazon reviews, we went shopping for the best sex toys for every scenario, whether you’re looking for a vibrator or under-bed restraints. Happy browsing.
The Most Discreet Vibrator
Rodriguez says many of Unbound’s customers have likened Squish, which is rechargeable via USB, to a beauty blender. Its cute li’l shape is indicative of a sea change in the industry: “Historically, most products were designed by men,” Rodriguez explains, which accounts for the number of “phallic-looking, veiny products” that have dominated the space. “I think for most people that’s a pretty big turnoff and it’s intimidating and overwhelming,” she says. One tester at the Strategist called Squish a “good pre-sex tool.”
The Best Lube
When looking for a good lubricant, Rodriguez suggests keeping an eye out for two things: that the product is water-based, so that it doesn’t degrade any silicone toys, and that the product is paraben-free. “If you’re someone who gets a lot of yeast infections, it’s good to make sure that there’s no glycerin, which is just sugar,” she adds. Most organic and vegan products aren’t any more expensive than their conventional counterparts. One cancer survivor, who bought Aloe Cadabra on Amazon after going through menopause, raved about what the product did for her.
The Best Massage Oil
“Massage candles are a really great way to try something new that often isn’t intimidating to people,” Rodriguez explains. Soy-based candles burn at a lower temperature so you don’t hurt yourself or someone else while giving a massage; the design of the Kama Sutra tin also features a pour spout for no-mess drizzling.
The Best Restraints
For those who are looking to explore restraints, these are ranked highly. With wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, and under-bed straps, this set includes all the basics. The straps are easily adjusted and the cuffs are padded, which ensures a safe and comfortable experience.
The Best Butt Plug Set
The Best G Spot Vibrator
This is the top-rated vibrator on Amazon and for good reason. It’s only $20, has a ten-speed vibration, and is ideal for finding pleasure all by yourself. The only downside? It’s battery operated. As for material, Rodriguez recommends making sure any and all silicone products are made with medical-grade silicone before inserting them into your body, or into someone else’s body.
The Best for Rabbit Vibrator Fans
Back in 1998, Sex and the City introduced rabbit-style vibrators into the mainstream conversation and it’s still a popular choice. (Rodriguez explains that the product first got its name because rules and regulations prohibited manufacturers from shipping sex products, so they put a rabbit on the packaging.) This one charges by plugging into an outlet, and the design is shaped to fits into the body smoothly without feeling overly intrusive.
The Best Vibrator for People with Penises
This vibrating ring is able to work on two people at once, making it perfect for a duo. Although generally acknowledged as something you don’t necessarily need, the consensus in the reviews seems to be Why wouldn’t you want it? It’s fun for both people, easy to use, and stretches to accommodate all sizes.
Best Wand-Style Vibrator
After being featured on Sex and the City as a favorite of Samantha’s, the Hitachi Magic Wand sold out at stores across the country — and with good reason. It’s largely regarded as the best wand-style vibrator out there, as evidenced by over 1,000 glowing Amazon reviews. Wand vibrators, Rodriguez notes, are often really big, which works to their advantage. “The more space you have, the stronger the motor can be, which allows for stronger rumbling vibration. When you condense a motor, it has a higher frequency and so the vibration is a little bit more buzzy,” she explains.
Best Sex Pillow
Best Sex Dice
If you’re looking to get creative, this dice set is just the thing. By combining the 6-, 10-, and 12-sided dice in pairs, you can generate 60 foreplay situations and 24 different sex positions. The set even comes with a booklet of illustrations, instructions, and tips to help you make the most of the positions you and your partner roll.
Best Glass Dildo
Best Spanking Paddle
Best Feather Tickler
This feathered product is a great low-stakes sex toy — if your partner likes to be tickled, that is. Reviewers say it holds up well and seldom loses feathers, and it has a leather slapper on the opposite end as an added bonus.
Best External Vibrator
The SVAKOM Echo Violet is small, quiet, and discreet — and reviewers say its still powerful enough to get the job done. You can press the up or down arrows on the device’s surface to increase or decrease the intensity of vibration, and it’s cordless, too. Just charge it in an outlet.
Best Travel Vibrator
This silicone vibrator is wireless for easy handling, and it has a bendable neck to ensure you get the right angle. It’s easily rechargeable — just plug it into any USB port or outlet. But the Mini Halo’s best feature is easily its 20 different vibration settings. You’re bound to find one that’s right for you.
Best Vibrating Butt Plug
Best Pleasure Sleeve
The Shotpocket was designed especially for trans men and other trans folk who “have experienced growth downstairs from the use of testosterone,” the brand’s founder told Unbound. It uses suction to create sensation, and is made from medical-grade silicone.
The sex toy industry as a whole, Rodriguez noted, “needs to develop more products that cater to all different anatomies and gender identities. Part of that is finding the resources and money to develop those products because a lot of them don’t exist and they should, so that all people feel included in this conversation.”
Best Vibrator for Sensitive People
When Strategist testers tried the Fin, they found that the product worked best as an accessory while having sex with another person. Its small motor means it has a lower-power vibration, which might be nice for people who are especially sensitive.
Tenga’s Egg series comes in 18 different options for a variety of sensations. The company also sells more expensive, heavy-duty strokers. Either way, the products are further proof that the sex-toy industry is now providing more options to people who may not want phallic-looking products.
“Often design is an afterthought,” Rodriguez says about the more traditional sex toy design strategy. But if the future of these products seems minimal, it’s in part because it allows people to bring their own fantasy into their sessions. As Rodriguez explains, “It’s really important to give people the opportunity to define what is sexy for themselves.
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