How to choose the right sex toys and tools for you
In season two of Grace and Frankie, the popular Netflix show starring the comedic duo of Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as women in their 60s whose husbands have just left them, best buddies have a reveal and decide to make a vibrator for people who have mobility issues. Although ‘Ménage à Moi’ is not available in IRL, the underlying idea of being more inclusive when it comes to sexual pleasure is welcome.
“There has never been a better time to look for a product to enhance your sexual experience,” says sex educator Robin R. Milhausen, PhD, “because the range of things available is almost as limitless as your imagination.”
“Everyone is different,” she notes. “Some have challenges that may be related to mobility. Some have more noticeable difficulties. Others are aging or suffering from arthritis or menopause or hormonal changes. All of our bodies have different needs, and these vary. change throughout our lives, so it’s really great that there is such a huge range of different types of products that means we can all access sexual pleasure. “
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in enhancing your sexual pleasure – or at least a little curious about tools that can help. And you are not alone. Like Veronica Kazoleas, social psychologist and owner of a Toronto-based sex store The NookieIt was quick to point out that a lot more people own sex toys than you might think.
We chatted with Milhausen and Kazoleas about what to keep in mind when finding the best sex toy or tool for you, no matter your life stage or ability.
First of all
Walking into a sex shop can be a daunting experience, but today you are likely to find friendly staff who are extremely knowledgeable and who will chat with you without any judgment. Here are some things they will likely say that are worth thinking about before you make a visit.
Write down the type of sex you would like to have and What turns you on; knowing yourself, at least a little, is the key. Are you looking to incorporate a sex toy into a couple experience or use it for solo time? If you have a vagina, do you want something for clitoral stimulation or penetration? What about anal penetration? It helps to think about all of the above for a few important reasons.
“If a person has a clitoral response, then clitoral stimulation [becomes] one of the key functions of a sex toy, ”advises Milhausen. “If they have a vagina, something that can be inserted is often a [key] a function. If it’s a penis, often you’re looking for something that can surround or wrap around the penis, and they have penis sleeves or sheaths, which are really great for that. You may also be looking for perineum stimulation just like people with a female body. Think about where you want stimulation … maybe it’s not genital, maybe it’s nipple stimulation you’re looking for, or some other kind of sensation … figure out where you are want to target is the first thing. “
We’re talking about the body, so materials matter. “Products like silicone, glass, metal, wood, plastic – all of these things are safe,” Kazoleas explains. “But anything made from jelly probably isn’t.” Kazoleas, whose shop has been open on College Street since 2017, warns against these jelly toys because people have reported nasty chemical burns (no, thanks!).
She also advises keeping the budget in mind. Kazoleas says you can spend up to $ 300 on a toy, but you can also get a quality product for around $ 100 to $ 140, depending on your needs and wants. And do a little research before you buy anything online. “The $ 20 one you see on Amazon is $ 20 on Amazon for a reason,” Kazoleas cautions.
One thing you might not have in mind when shopping is or you want to put your toy on – and how these body parts work differently. “Vaginas can push things out; the anus [tends] to suck things up and keep them there, ”says Kazelas. “[For] whatever people want to use anal you want something with a flare base. meant for anal penetration.
Kazoleas suggests, if you and your partner like to play butt, that you take a separate device for each of you. “Also, start smaller,” she advises. “People’s eyes are bigger than their openings.”
If you want to keep your dashing things to yourself, Milhausen says look for a toy with a quiet motor. She also recommends studying an app-based toy for solo play: “Hands-free can be an advantage for people with limited mobility and also for people who want to use a sex toy on their own but have a sort of feel like you have the partner experience. “
“They can set up a whole vibrational model with their app, then push the game around, lean back and enjoy an experience that they don’t have to lead all the time,” says Milhausen. “Almost all of the major sex toy companies now have a hands-free version of an app-controlled toy.”
It’s also worth noting, says Kazoleas, the size of the buttons and controls on your solo sex toy – some may be difficult to use depending on your mobility. You should also think about how comfortable you are to begin with. How fast do you want it to move? Can you control the strength of the toy?
As women age, our hormones fluctuate so much that they can send our sexual organs to the territory of the Sahara. In addition to vaginal dryness during sex (which affects young and old, up to 17% of women aged 18 to 50, according to a british report), there is also the problem of decreased blood flow. To resolve this issue, look for a clitoral suction device. “If you have problems with blood flow to the clitoris, this can increase arousal so that the sensation is easier to achieve,” says Milhausen.
For those who have a penis, erectile dysfunction can be a problem as they age. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go down and down. “There is a lot of confusion around how penises work, quite frankly,” Kazoleas says, noting that organs can function in remarkable ways. “Someone who’s had prostate cancer, and the surgeon decides he needs to take the whole prostate … [often] you can’t have an erection… but you can still enjoy orgasms and ejaculations by having vibrations on a flaccid penis. Vibration on the head of a penis [can] make him ejaculate, even without an erection. “
Kazoleas also encourages the use of penile constrictor bands (commonly known as cock rings), which can help a person maintain an erection if they tend to lose it, which can happen for a variety of reasons. “People with spinal cord problems may be turned on by stimulation of the neck or nipples, but they might not maintain an erection because they might not have a lot of sensation,” she says, by way of example. . “Putting a cock ring on a penis will trap the blood, and it will increase the sensation for people.”
The magic wand-type toy has stood the test of time, with good reason. “It has been around for decades,” says Milhausen, “and it is still the first device prescribed in sex therapy for people who are not able to have orgasms.”
“It has a longer arm, which makes it easier to hold, but you can also balance it on a pillow or lie on it if it’s too difficult to hold,” she explains. “It’s extremely powerful … but this [also] means it is versatile. If you put a pillow or towel on it, you can limit the vibrations, or you can use it as is. “
Milhausen also recommends smaller toys for a different type of stimulation. “There are vibrating sex toys that attach to your finger so you don’t have to get hooked… you can move your finger anywhere you want to stimulate it. Having a sex toy that attaches to your body can be very helpful. “
Kazoleas agrees and takes this notion even further. “Strap-ons are also an option,” she says. “You can have strap-ons that sit on your thigh, you can have strap-ons that you wear… then you can put a dildo in it of different shapes and sizes and still feel like you have a traditional type of dildo. sexual encounter. “
“Another thing that is good for people with hand mobility issues and all kinds of erectile difficulties is a dildo with a suction cup,” Kazoleas continues. “There are some incredibly powerful sucking dildos… they can ride it, they can ride it, they can put it on a wall, on a floor, on any kind of hard surface, and [then] they don’t use their hands. “
Hips don’t lie
Aches, pains, and injuries can really hurt the heat of things. But luckily there are some sexy options to help with this department as well.
“For people who have hip mobility issues – people may have spasms or cramps, they may lose strength – you can get pillows designed for sex,” says Kazoleas, adding that ” they are made to support a body “. These pillows come in different shapes, such as a wedge, a ramp or with rounded edges, as well as a variety of materials.
Kazoleas also suggests thinking inside BDSM or the bondage box if movement is an obstacle for you. For example, there are straps that can be used to help bring something closer or increase the intensity of the push with someone in need of help. “Tying up someone who has some discomfort, or let’s say they have loose joints, can actually help support them in the moment and keep them from feeling uncomfortable or moving too much. “
Until the sensation
Tools like feathers, Wartenberg wheels (essentially small metal wheels with tiny, sharp tips), and blindfolds can all add to the field of fun possibilities. “If for some reason there is no penetration, you can still have a truly satisfying sexual encounter through feel and touch,” Kazoleas explains.
“Hypersensitivity happens through the vagina and clitoris… so maybe you want someone to rub a feather on your thighs, on your neck – that can be quite stimulating,” she suggests.
Whether you are miles away from your partner or something is preventing you from having what is called a “traditional” experience, now there are toys and apps that can help you experience sexual pleasure virtually. Milhausen notes that there are tools where you can “put on glasses and [get] immersed in the experience. “
“[There are] many more ways to virtually connect with your partner, [where] they are able to use an app to manipulate a sex toy, and you experience what they do … and you feel the sensation. It sounds pretty futuristic, but it’s there today.