Plus, 6 sexy ways to get it!
In a new survey, researchers from International Communications Research and the makers of We-Vibe sexual brand products find that 60 percent of Americans would simply like a more playful, fun sex life.
And seeing as that's the basic definition of adult sex toys, we figured we'd give you a hand — figuratively speaking.
Here, the skinny on sex toy shopping. Plus, expert-approved picks for fun you can have on your own or with a partner.
Find out what you like.
Spend time exploring your body and identifying what kind of stimulation you enjoy, says Emily Morse, PhD, host of the sex and relationship advice podcast Sex With Emily. "Do you want to use the sex toy with a partner or do you want to keep it all to yourself? Do you want clitoral or G-spot stimulation — or do you want both? This is the most important work a woman can do to improve her sex life overall, but also to find the right vibrator."
Visit a store if you can.
More stores than ever, like Babeland in New York City and Good Vibrations in San Francisco and Massachusetts, have toys sitting on shelves, which means you can turn them on, hear how soft or loud they are and so on, says Debby Herbenick, PhD, research scientist at Indiana University and author of Sex Made Easy. The staff is also trained to help you choose the best toy for you. "The more that you can see [a product] before you get it, the better," adds Rose Hartzell, PhD, a sex therapist for San Diego Medicine, the premier center for sexual health (just to give you an idea, they have a room full of sex toys available to their patients).
If you're going to share, talk to your partner first.
If you'd like to work in sex toys, don’t spring this thought on your partner mid-sex, says Dr. Herbenick. Instead, start by saying you were intrigued by an article on vibrators, and think they might be fun to try together. Just be sure you don't inadvertently make him feel like you're compensating for something he lacks, adds Dr. Morse. "The truth is, most sex positions don't offer enough clitoral stimulation for women to reach orgasm." And it's okay to say that. Sex toys give women the extra vibration, angle and power they need to experience ultimate pleasure.
Pair it with lube.
Lubricant isn't just for dryness or discomfort, says Dr. Morse. "Seventy percent of women report that sex is more enjoyable when they use lube. It also makes the toy easier and more pleasurable to use." (Consider one of these all-natural lube brands we love.)
Don't forget cleaner.
You probably don't picture yourself rushing to the bathroom after sex to soap up your toys, but you should—especially since some materials are porous, acting as a trap for dirt and bacteria. So Dr. Herbenick suggests buying cleaner for before — and after — use. These are available at sex toy shops and online. If you don't have any on hand, gentle soap and water works, too.
Give it time.
"Sometimes, you have to get to know your vibrator before you can get into the right groove," says Dr. Morse. "Starting out with a vibrator is sort like staring an affair with a new lover. Things can begin kind of clumsy, but once you discover how each other’s bodies work, the sex becomes better — and hopefully more orgasmic."
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