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December 02, 2020
The most comprehensive guide to sex toys online, compiled by sex toy experts from around the world and brought to life by Lizzy Bliss. Everything you need to know including vibrator noise levels, sex furniture and even the weirdest sex toys ever manufactured.
It’s totally normal to be a bit paranoid about the noise levels of your vibrator, after all, nobody likes to get caught masturbating. Whether you’re living with your parents, family, kids, roomie or you just have really thin walls, we understand the importance of owning a quiet vibrator.
The bad news unfortunately is: If it vibrates, it makes noise.
Luckily there are quite a few ways to ensure you have worry-free fun. The last thing we want is for you to deprive yourself of those mind-blowing, back-bending orgasms because you’re afraid of waking up the neighbourhood (although we don’t take any responsibility if you’re a screamer)
If you’re looking for a really quiet vibrator, you should go with a rechargeable one. They tend to be more silent since the battery is part of the toy. Battery operated toys are usually noisier because the batteries rattle around a bit when the toy vibrates.
Deep, slow, rumbly vibrations are what you are looking for here. This is more common with larger rechargeable vibrators (such as thrusting rabbits and magic wands). Smaller vibrators like bullet vibrators will give off more of a buzz, especially if they are made of plastic or battery operated.
Quality silicone vibrators will be your best option when trying to keep noise levels to a minimum. A good silicone toy will absorb more noise than plastic, metal or almost any other material while still delivering intense vibrations to anywhere you might need them. They’re also really soft, which we like.
Did we mention that the more your toy vibrates the more noise it makes? Do yourself a favour and get one with variable speeds so that you can tone down the vibrations a bit should the need arise. This way you can always speed things up again when the volume isn’t an issue
Pour yourself a glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch and take some time to do proper “research” on the noise levels of different types of toys. There are plenty of reviews online for you to go through to make sure you get exactly what you need
Erotic furniture a.k.a. Sex furniture doesn’t refer to modern art with penis prints all over it but rather to practical furniture used for various sexual acts, mostly with a partner and some without. Sure, anything classifies as erotic furniture if you want it to, but there is specific erotic furniture available for purchase that varies greatly in size and function. While some of the erotic furniture looks commonplace, other pieces belong in an underground dungeon.
Sex chairs or stools come in a wide variety of choices. A great example of a modern sex chair is the Adela chair. It might look like a Nguni bull crossed with a dung beetle, but there’s a method to this madness.
Basically a couch with curves. A sex couch is most often sold as a lounge chair and can blend in with your existing furniture. It’s not hard to explain and can be in the open without too many questions.
Something as simple as a pillow can make a massive difference in bed. If you know anything about the female anatomy you will have heard of the G-Spot which is located at the top and not the bottom. For easy access to the G-Spot, a pillow can provide all the support you need to get the right angle.
Sure, you can use a regular pillow to prop your hips up to get to the right spot. But there are angled (harder) cushions available specifically designed with an angle to get the angle right.
The great thing is pillows are discrete. You can use a pillow that’s designed for neck injuries, acid reflux or sleep apnea and nobody will be any wiser when they walk into your bedroom. Some pillows even have sex toy mounts at the base for vibrators or dildos.
Sex swings are available in most sex shops and have become pretty well known.
Sex swings come in a variety of “formats” (some hook into a door, some attach to the ceiling and others are freestanding), "really, a sex swing is any device that can elevate you and/or your partner, helping you get into new positions or your favourite positions with more ease," says Megan Stubbs, Ed.D. relationship expert and clinical sexologist.
When choosing your sex toy the material is the first thing you should consider. The material you choose has the most direct effect on your health. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean less safe, but it is a factor to consider. Sites boasting cheap sex toys is something to look out for but there’s a lot you can do from your side to ensure you’re buying body-safe toys. We discuss toxic materials in the sex toy safety section below. Here we’ll take a look at the various sex toy materials you’ll find in the market today and what to look out for.
Dildo’s are synonymous with sex toys and probably the number one material you should be mindful of when considering adding a toy to your collection. Jelly sex toys use rubber as a baseline and add phthalates to make it flexible. While not all jelly toys contain phthalates, most of them do, in our experience. A dead giveaway of a non-safe rubber toy is a strong odour or chemical taste. Also, they tend to be porous which isn’t great for hygienic reasons. The rule of thumb is that you should check the manufacturer details of jelly toys firstly to make sure they are phthalate-free, and if the price looks too good to be true it probably is.
The cream of the crop of sex toy materials. Silicone is Non-porous, soft to the touch (although the degree of hardness allows for versatility) and silky smooth.
Silicone holds body temperature well, and in most cases, you can heat up your toys with warm water for a more realistic feel before getting things on. The great thing about silicone is that it transfers vibrations better than any other material, which is why it’s the quintessential material used for vibrators. Plus, it reduces noise levels. If you have a vibrating unit in a plastic toy you’ll wake up the neighbours when you switch it on.
Be sure to check that the silicone is body-safe though. Many companies claim to use only silicone when their toys are actually made from a mix of thermoplastic rubber (TPR) and elastomer which is a physical mix of polymers. Mixing polymers can leave sex toys porous, albeit less so than jelly toys, you want to ensure the silicone is non-porous and good quality. Make sure that you use a silicone-safe lubricant for silicone sex toys.
Hard Plastic or ABS is a relatively inexpensive material and generally safer than jelly toys. It’s non-porous and doesn’t use phthalates and it’s very easy to clean with warm water and soap. Although plastic toys are less expensive than silicone variants you have to keep in mind that they are moulded.
Cheaply moulded products can have seams or little ridge lines if the mould they use isn’t top class, or production isn’t optimal. So, it’s best to buy from a reliable source where quality is guaranteed.
As previously mentioned, plastic vibrating toys can be loud but that usually translates into intense vibrations. Which is why it’s the choice material for bullet vibrators. Many people prefer the intense vibrations for clitoral stimulation. So if you want a particularly strong vibrating toy for simulation, look for plastic.
Favoured because of their superiority and elegance glass toys have become quite popular. Glass toys are non-porous, easy to clean and can be cooled down or heated up to any desired temperature for a different pleasure sensation. Plus, glass toys look more like expensive ornaments than anything else.
Unlike silicone, glass toys work with any lubricant without any fear of damaging the toy. They work especially well for those who orgasm easier using hard toys with a firm and rigid structure.
You want to make sure the toys are made from medical-grade borosilicate glass or “lead-free crystal”. The high-grade quality glass ensures the toys won’t break when you drop them and you can clean them by putting them in a dishwasher if you like. When you cool these toys put them in a fridge or cold water and not a freezer as that might damage the glass.
Similar to glass metal toys are rigid and impressive looking with a shiny metal gleam and generally sturdy (heavy). While the weight can add to an overall sensation it can be too much for some so be mindful of the pace when using these toys.
Metal toys tend to be colder at the start but also heat up or cool down easy enough. Like glass, they are easy to clean and work with any kind of lubricant. Most of these toys are made of stainless steel or aluminium, there are even a few made from gold or silver.
Wooden or stone sext toys are uncommon but do exist. If treated correctly the wood and stone are non-porous. These toys tend to be very beautifully made and unique. More for the collector than practical applications. But hey maybe it’s your way to connect with nature.
Hygiene and sex toys are synonymous. It goes without saying that you should keep your toys clean. But it’s important to know the best-practices when cleaning your toys and also why it’s so crucially important to do so after each use.
With non-porous sex toys, a proper wash with soap and water keeps them clean enough, like vibrators. But stainless steel, glass and 100% silicone toys can also go into the dishwasher or a boiling pot of water for ten minutes, but read the instructions first. Don’t boil blended silicone, plastic or non-glass products or put them in a dishwasher as they will melt, not the kind of messy you’re after.
As a general rule, sex toys should be cleaned between every different partner and after each sex act. Your toy’s manufacturer should be your first stop for washing instructions, so check the pamphlet or instructions that came with your toy. Some toys are waterproof while others aren’t. Use a toy cleaner on suitable toys. However, if you’re unsure nothing beats good old warm water and soap!
Anal Toys Should Be Used For Anal Only
Sexual activity increases a woman’s risk for urinary tract infections (UTI) and the bacteria that causes a UTI lives in and around the anus. Even regular sex increases the chances that nearby bacteria can make it’s way to a woman’s urethra and multiply to trigger a UTI. So, anything that’s been in or around the anus should steer clear of the vaginal area including sex toys, fingers or a penis.
Any toys used for anal play should be thoroughly washed between sessions, but it’s probably best to keep anal toys for anal use. Toys can potentially spread infections, including sexually transmitted infections if they retain a bacteria or a virus. So clean your toys properly.
For the most part sex toys are perfectly safe. But there are a few things you can do to ensure you keep your toys safe.
No matter how realistic adult toys look or work the fact is that they are manufactured from a variety of material, some of which can be potentially harmful to you. At the moment, there is no scientific literature analyzing the body safety of various adult toy materials, there are materials that you may want to avoid.
The biggest culprits? Phthalates (f)θaleɪt and Bisphenol A (BPA)
We’ll focus on Phthalates, or phthalate esters, which are esters of phthalic anhydride. They are mainly used as plasticizers, i.e., substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity, which is important for sex toys.
Phthalates are a commonly used chemical in sex toys. However, recent studies suggest that this chemical could have some seriously negative effects.
Phthalates have been known to crop up in the rubber of cheap sex toys. In recent years, the negative effects of phthalates have become the subject of a major public health concern inciting various studies. The exposure to phthalates has been linked to diabetes, asthma, fertility issues in men, obesity, neurodevelopmental issues and more.
For this reason, many sex toy stores make it a priority to sell phthalate-free products, including Lizzy Bliss.
But don’t let the label fool you!
Many manufacturers package their products with “Phthalate Free” branding on the packaging when the product still contains the harmful chemical. It’s a good habit to double-check all the ingredients, products and chemicals used in the manufacturing of these products in the fine print. Ideally, you want to go with a sex toy store that understands manufacturing and responsible sourcing to a suitable degree. At the very least you want to buy your products from a supplier that checks the labels and ensures that phthalate-free is, in fact, free of any harmful chemicals.
The issue often lies with the supply chain. If a supplier of rubber changes his chemical curing mixture without performing a chemical test you might have harmful chemicals in your rubber or silicone and nobody but the chemical supplier will be any wiser. Which is why responsible sourcing from reliable manufacturers or suppliers is of paramount importance.
Sex toys are by no means a modern marvel with bronze dildoes and jade butt plugs dating back thousands of years. But there have been some pretty freaky ones through the ages. What follows is a list of our top five weirdest sex toys ever.
We’ll start with something a bit more modern to ease into things.
At nearly 43 cm tall and a massive 11.4 cm head, the Wanachi Mega Massager is the biggest wand in the world. Not exactly something that you can leave lying around on your bedside cupboard. We’re not entirely sure how necessary a wand that can stimulate a blue whale is. But, someone also decided they should collect the world’s biggest ball of twine, so I guess the biggest wand title has to go to somebody.
The steam-powered Manipulator (they don’t name them as they used to) shows us what is essentially the first vibrator. It proves that since the dawn of time genital stimulation has been on our mind. Ok, that might be a bit dramatic, but it does prove that it’s not a modern concept. This bad boy was designed by George Taylor with a dildo-like toy attached to a steam engine.
Imagine cranking this baby up in the middle of the night, no “super silent” five star reviews here. As cool as the manipulator is it wasn’t designed for female stimulation and was actually created to “cure hysteria” in women. Which actually just meant curing sexual frustration but it took decades for the term to catch on, thanks for nothing Freud.
Ok, this is only funny if you imagine a 50’s style black and white tv commercial with a housewife in a flowery dress shouting ‘The Orgasmatron 3000’. Told you! However, the orgasmatron only makes it onto our list because anybody that can make a washing machine smell like a new car and sexual at the same time deserves an honorary Lizzy Bliss mention.
This was a one-time project by Dominic Wilcox and was never destined for commercial use.
“After being invited to take part in a design exhibition on the theme of a Bordello, Dominic Wilcox came up with his own take on the subject. This Leather-clad washing machine and saddle aims bring the fun back to housework.
Instructions: After turning the dial to the required setting, press the 'on' button and climb into the saddle with your legs at the front of the machine.”
Credit: Dominic Wilcox
Like the massaging shower head and wand massager, the original purpose of the Stim-U-Lax was something entirely different. This scary-looking device was designed for barbers to use on their customer’s scalps.
The Stim is strapped to your hand and delivers strong vibrations through the hand - or other body parts. The more perceptive quickly caught on and figured out that there are other applications for the scalp massager. To be fair, the main theme stuck with stimulating so it didn’t stray too far from its original design purpose.
A Japanese sex toy had to make it onto the list, obviously. Honestly, we had to pick one that wasn’t too weird. Fair warning, weird Japanese sex toys isn’t a rabbit hole you want to dive into without some mental preparation.
Ever dream of seeing a unicorn? Well, keep dreaming. The Ero(tic) Mask is a chin or forehead-strapping dildo. The box depicts you as a superhero and My Little Pony’s House of Horrors comes to mind.
The concept is quite simple - a dildo affixed to a latex strap which you can use to mount over your mouth or onto your forehead. Unfortunately, not so many people saw the need to fill that many gaps and subsequently the product was removed from most websites. If you want a similar product you can likely find one in Japan or you can DIY something.
Picking your first vibrator can be quite hard, but it can be even more cumbersome to choose your second or third vibrator. Let’s face facts; sex toys are not cheap, not anywhere in the world, so you want to make sure you pick what works for you. The positive is that you don’t have to get bamboozled by salespeople in a store anymore. The negative is that there’s so much information and every product description makes it seem that that particular vibrator is going to send you to the moon.
Reviews? Who leaves positive reviews these days, and what can you trust? It can quickly become overwhelming. So, here are a few tips on how to pick the best vibrator for you.
Vibrators come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s no shortage of options. There are short ones and long ones, thin and thick, whisper-quiet or super loud, silky soft or rock hard. You have vibrators called bullets, rabbits, eggs, pebbles, mini, full, wands or massagers! Some vibrators are realistic-looking and leave no room for the imagination while others are quite weird-looking.
If you’re into something more aesthetically pleasing, you can find them in every colour of the rainbow. If you’re cash-strapped, there are lots of less expensive options and if you have some cash to burn there are “deluxe” options that are often more expensive than a pair of Jimmy Choos. The point is, the choices can be overwhelming, so here’s what you do:
Are you (or your partner) more of an internal or clitoral kind of person? Do you prefer clitoral stimulation or does internal pressure get you where you need to be? Or is it a combination of both?
Before you pick a vibrator figure out what you prefer to get you to orgasm and you’ll have a great place to start. It might be psychological rather than physiological, i.e. you might be a size queen and want something more significant and powerful to please your mind, but it can be that a simple bullet vibrator gets you off.
Also Read: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Rabbit Vibrators
This is arguably the most important factor when weighing up the desired efficacy of a vibrator. A clitoris has around 8,000 extremely sensitive nerve-endings, so there is a thing as too much power when it comes to a vibrator.
What you need to look for is a vibrator that has a variety of settings, speeds and even patterns. If it’s your first vibrator, your best bet is to go with something that has both high and low power settings which will allow you to start slow and work your way up to more power as you get more comfortable.
How sensitive your clitoris will be to this depends on your level of arousal as well, keep that in mind when using a vibrator with a partner. Remind them to be gentle at first because adding hardware to your sex life is exciting and can result in a “heavy hand”.
Depending on your living arrangements, you might only be able to use a vibrator in the bathroom. Or you and your partner might enjoy playtime in a pool or want to try something new in the shower.
Most quality vibrators on the market today are waterproof, but make sure you read the product specifications correctly before making a purchase. Splash-proof means you can clean it with a cloth and water or soap but need to stay away from electronics, it does not mean waterproof. You want product specifications to say 100% waterproof.
Not everyone can climax in a short amount of time. If you struggle to orgasm and need to build it up for a good chunk of time, it’s best to buy a toy with a good runtime or something that plugs into a power outlet. Battery-powered vibrators are usually the cheaper option, but the runtime isn’t high, and the cost of good-quality batteries adds up.
Toys that plug into the wall are an excellent choice here, but you’re limited to where you can use them as you need a direct outlet to operate it. A rechargeable USB-charged toy is a good option as you don’t have to worry about buying batteries and most run well past an hour. Again, check the specifications if runtime is a determining factor.
Vibrators are made with a variety of materials, and it’s an important aspect to consider for personal preference. See our section above on sex toy materials for more information. Whichever material you end up using remember to pay attention to which kind of lubricant you use as some are not compatible with silicone and will damage your toy. Silicone lubes, and silicone toys do NOT mix, so read the label carefully.
Irrespective of the vibrator you choose, remember to do your research before purchasing the toy of your choice. If there’s not enough information on the website, then the site is probably not worth it.
Ok, anal sex toys aren’t everyone’s bag, but there are a good many out there that get their kink on with a bit of anal play. And, no complete guide on sex toys would be complete without an anal toy section. There are a few misconceptions around anal sex toys and anal in general.
Anal play can be very enjoyable for women. There are literally thousands of sensitive nerve endings concentrated around the opening and outer part of the rectum a.k.a. Stimulating the ring! Otherwise known as the A-spot the anterior fornix erogenous zone. It’s a sensitive area of tissue at the ends of the vaginal canal, between the bladder and the cervix that with careful attention can be indirectly stimulated through anal sex and heighten arousal and activate vaginal lubrication and in some cases lead to an orgasm.
But with all things anal you don’t want to jump into it and unlike vaginal sex you need a bit more planning, and the same goes for using anal sex toys. Primarily you need to consider safety and lubricant gel.
Anal toys aren’t a stepping stone to anal sex; they can be a whole game on its own and enjoyable by themselves. It’s different, it’s somewhat kinky, and the right kind of toys (quality toys) are safe and easy to use. Here’s our breakdown of anal toys worth mentioning:
Anal beads are versatile, small to medium in size (on average) and a pretty good entry-level anal toy for beginners. For advanced anal enthusiasts, it’s also easy to incorporate beads into anal play for variety and combination techniques for penetration stimulation.
Anal beads are exactly what the name suggests, a graduated row of beads starting from small and getting progressively bigger up the line. Some variations have a single-size bead, especially vibrating anal beads. You need to look for a product that has a T-shape end or a strong loop that’s easy to grip. This will help to easily remove the toy and prevent it from getting stuck in your anal cavity and avoid that embarrassing trip to the ER.
There are varieties of anal beads in the market, and the best ones also vibrate. This is great for both men and women.
There’s no shortage of variety when it comes to selecting a butt plug; there’s genuinely something for everyone - or any booty call. The most traditional butt plug looks a bit like a T-shape with a cone shape and a thin insertion point for easy penetration. Classic plugs come in a variety of sizes and are unisex as well as being good for couples or solo play. The three classic butt plugs are:
Weighted butt plugs don’t vibrate and are excellent to leave inserted during sex, for both men and women depending on your preference. Depending on the size of the plug you can also keep it inserted on a date or when walking. They are generally shaped like a torpedo with a thinking point for easy insertion.
The shape makes it more comfortable to keep inserted while having penetrative vaginal sex, and it won’t stop you from bending your body. Weighted butt plugs come in different sizes and different materials ranging from glass to metal. There are even rumoured to be solid gold plugs out there.
Vibrating plugs are great for G or P-spot stimulation and work well to relax the muscles. The vibration actually helps insertion and relaxing any tense muscles, very similar to an external massage, which makes this a great option for beginners. If the stimulation is too much, to begin with, rather start without the toy on until you get used to the sensation.
These plugs are designed to move as you move and stimulate as you go or with stimulation by using your hand to move the plug manually. As the name suggests, they don’t vibrate and tend to work best when inserted during sex. They are made from silicone and are quite stiff; they have to be but are still soft to the touch.
Everyone’s heard of a G-spot, if not you’ll want to read this. But, did you know that a thing like a P-spot also exists? Men have prostates inside their bums, and this prostate also happens to be a very sensitive and erogenous zone, not much different from the G-spot. The prostate is about 7 centimetres inside the rectum and is about the size of a walnut. When stimulated a male orgasm is much more intense and explosive, who wouldn’t want that? Some procedures to extract semen at sperm banks can induce ejaculation from prostate stimulation alone.
Once the toy is gently inserted angle the toy upwards like you’re trying to reach towards the penis through the pelvis, there will be an immediate full feeling with a slight urge to urinate or even orgasm. It’s not uncontrollable and he won’t make a mess (we hope) but it should be gentle and well lubricated.
Use body-safe non-porous materials only. In the Sex Toy Materials & Sex Toy Safety section, we talk about body-safe materials for sex toys. The same goes for anal sex toys. Stay away from phthalates or anything porous.
Use anal sex toys only for anal. Faecal matter can cause some serious infections (UTI’s) for both men and women. Keep anal toys for anal play only.
Use a Flare-based anal toy (ring, handle, T-shape). A flare is there for your protection. If there’s nothing stopping the toy from going all in the toy will do just that! Anal muscles have a way of sucking things in; you want the flare to be big enough to stop the penetration all on its own. Avoid trips to the ER.
Clean and sterilise your anal toys after each use. Use a toy cleaner as well as thoroughly cleaning your toys. Sharing is also not caring in this case. Don’t mix partners with toys, keep them to yourself.
Use Lube! This should go without saying, but your booty does not create any lubrication on its own no matter the amount of stimulation. Opt for a water-based lubricant as it is also silicone safe and generally better for sex toys.
You can read our complete guide to lubricant gel here, or if you want to learn more about the best vibrators to buy:
May 05, 2021
You should be using lubricant gel (sex lube). Because lube is probably the single most amazing, essential sex accessory you could have in your bedside cupboard. We want you to enjoy sex, a lot. Everything you never knew about lube.
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