By Eli London / February 14, 2019

The Curious Man’s Guide to Sex Toys, as Told by a Sex Educator

A crash course in toy play from a card-carrying sex educator

Sex Toys Guide

For many men, conversations about sex toys occupy a delicate space that sits somewhere between uncertainty and insecurity.

But that shouldn’t be the case.

Incorporating a little toy play into the bedroom doesn’t qualify a fellow as a subpar lover; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. With a little know-how, toys can make a great experience even better, achieving things mere mortals simply can’t (vibration, e.g.).

So we’ve put together an in-depth primer on everything a curious gent might need to know. Below, you’ll find a treasure trove of information, including but not limited to: how to broach the subject with your partner, how to break the potentially awkward ice and actually implement them into your routine, what different toys are meant for, how to use them, and any precautions to be aware of before you dive in.

And since we’re no experts, we rang Lisa Finn, Brand Manager and Sex Educator at high-end toy boutique Babeland, for some help answering the, uh, hard questions.

On talking to your partner about experimenting with sex toys …
“Bringing up sex toys casually can range from ‘Have you ever used a sex toy before?’ to maybe turning into an adventure — like asking your partner if they’d like to go to a date at your local sex toy shop. Places like Babeland and Good Vibrations offer classes that make amazing date nights, and can help open up the conversation. If you’re into the idea of using sex toys, maybe start the conversation with ‘I want to try something new in bed, are you interested in this?’ or ‘Do you have any fantasies you’d like to try? I’ve been interested in using a sex toy on you … are you into that?’ Whatever you do, be open to your partner being hesitant or saying no — and always respect those boundaries.”

On men for whom toys might prompt feelings of inadequacy …
“One thing we are constantly reminding customers is that sex toys are not replacements for partners and are not exclusively for folks that may feel unsatiated in bed. Instead, think of sex toys like toppings on the already delicious scoop of ice cream that is your sex life. Sex toys can be accessories and tools used to either switch up a routine, add in some role play and/or new power dynamics, or just to add a whole new sensation. Sex toys do things that our bodies naturally can’t — like vibrate — and so you can’t really compare the two.”

On “surprising” your partner with a toy …
“Most sex toy stores won’t accept returns (for obvious reasons), so knowing that your partner is into something first is key. If you are going to buy your partner a sex toy without a discussion on it first, you need to be absolutely OK with the fact that they may not want it — and you need to make sure that, when it’s given to them, that there are no expectations, and they should feel completely free to decline. I’d suggest shopping together, either online or in person: it can really add an element of anticipation, and it helps to ensure everyone is on the same page. (Alternately, if you’re worried about not being able to return it, try getting something that can have an alternate use. E.g. the Magic Wand makes a great back massager, the Crave Vesper is a stunning necklace, etc.)

On how to actually implement the toys in flagrante delicto
“Take time to learn the toy first! Know what the buttons do and where they’re located, how to have a good grip on it, how it fits the body. Have lube ready (toys are always much much better with lube). Once you’re getting down and ready to use it, have some foreplay with the toy and brush it over the body first to feel it against skin — the texture, vibration — and check in along the way with some dirty talk: ‘Does that feel good?’; ‘Do you like that?’”

On the best resources for learning more about toys (or similarly horizons-broadening topics) …
Babeland, GoodVibes, O.School, Sex with Emily (website and podcast), Oh Joy Sex Toy (comic strips about sex toys!), Kinkly and online sex toy reviewers/bloggers like Hey Epiphora.

Now that you have your plan of action, let’s move on to the particulars. Below, Finn breaks down the most common toys by type, function and use case, and then recommends her favorite products for each.


Vibrators and More
Vibration can feel great on any erogenous zones, not just vulvas! Try using vibration as a simulation across the entire body, or focusing on hot spots like the head of the penis, clit, nipples and more.

We Vibe Sync best sex toys

We Vibe Sync
What exactly is this? A wearable, app-controlled vibrator
Who is this for? Couples
What’s so great about this one? It’s incredibly versatile, as it is able to stimulate both the clit and the G-spot simultaneously. And thanks to its app function, it can be controlled from across the world. Oh, and it has setting that makes it possible to sync the We Vibe to music.”
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant, and make sure to download and sync the toy to the app before play.

BUY NOW: $199

Womanizer Premium best sex toys

Womanizer Premium
What exactly is this? A targeted clitoral stimulator
Who is this for? Designed for use on the clitoris, but makes a fantastic partner play toy
What’s so great about this one? This uses “Pleasure Air” technology to form a seal over the clit and deliver a sensation similar to oral sex. It drives extra blood to the locus, making for added pre-sex arousal. Also great for simultaneous use during penetration.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant.

BUY NOW: $199

Fun factory manta massager best sex toys

Fun Factory Manta
What exactly is this? A hybrid stroker/vibrator
Who is this for? Designed for use on the penis, but makes a fantastic partner play toy
What’s so great about this one? This toy is meant to fit perfectly around the penis and functions great as a solo tool or paired with oral sex or at the base of the shaft during sex for dual party sensations.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant.

BUY NOW: $140

You Might Also Like …
Crave Vesper Pendant Vibrator: An elegant necklace doubling as a vibrator.
Magic Wand Rechargeable: Probably the most widely known vibrator, this is a powerful wand-style vibrator.


Cock Rings
Cock rings work by restricting blood flow from leaving the shaft of the penis while also allowing blood flow to enter, allowing for a sturdier erection and intensified sensation.

Ahoy cock ring best sex toys

Ahoy Cock Ring
What exactly is this? A soft and affordable silicone cock ring
Who is this for? Anyone with a penis, or both partners (penetration)
What’s so great about this one? It’ll stretch up to 2”, and at only $10 is quite the steal.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant. Always put on a cock ring before the wearer is fully erect, and ensure that it feels snug, but not tight enough that it is uncomfortable or painful.

BUY NOW: $10

You Might Also Like …
Je Joue Mio Ring: A waterproof, vibrating silicone cock ring.


Anal Toys
Everybody has a butt, and everyone can enjoy the fantastic sensations of anal play.

Don Juan Plug
What exactly is this? A curved and ridged silicone anal plug
Who is this for? Anyone!
What’s so great about this one? It’s a perfect tool for beginners thanks to its multiple bubbles that give an anal bead-like experience, along with a curve for added sensation on the prostate or vaginal wall. It’s made from medical-grade silicone, making it incredibly easy to clean.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant.

BUY NOW: $26

You Might Also Like …
b-Vibe Rimming Plug: A remote-control vibrating anal plug with rotating “rimming” sensation.


Strokers/Masturbation Sleeves
Often misconstrued as “solo only” toys because of the name, masturbation sleeves can really enhance any stroking play, whether it’s by yourself or with a playmate.

Tenga egg best sex toys

Tenga Egg
What exactly is this? A stretchy, egg-shaped masturbation sleeve.
Who is this for? Anyone with a penis, or both partners (handjobs)
What’s so great about this one? It’s discreet and portable thanks to the egg housing container it comes in. And at $10 dollars and up to 10 uses, that works out to roughly $1 per session.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Pair this toy with a water-based lubricant.

BUY NOW: $10

You Might Also Like …
Tenga Flip Stroker: A Japanese-engineered sleeve designed for an overload of sensory pleasure.


Miscellanea
From lube to bondage to massage tools, use these complementary sex-cessories with all/none of the above.

Babeland Bondage Tape Best Sex Toys

Babeland Bondage Tape
What exactly is this? Non-sticky, thin PVC material that adheres only to itself
Who is this for? Couples
What’s so great about this one? This tape only sticks to itself, so you don’t have any pain when removing it after play. It’s also super easy to cut to size and reuse by simply smoothing out and rolling back up.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? This bondage tape can really stay on! Keep a pair of safety shears handy if you are doing anything past light bondage. Also: it’s an asphyxiative hazard — do not use as a gag or over the nose/mouth.

BUY NOW: $10

Ignite Me Candles Best Sex Toys

Ignite Me Candles
What exactly is this? Candles that melt into a luxurious massage oil
Who is this for?  Anyone/couples
What’s so great about this one? They’re made of soy wax, so they melt at a lower temperature than normal wax, meaning you can still get the hot wax sensation, without actually burning yourself. They smell great and they’re infused with shea butter and coconut oil to help nourish the skin.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Massage oil should be used externally only, and never used as a lubricant.

BUY NOW: $14

Babelube Natural Lubricant

Babelube Natural Lubricant
What exactly is this? A natural water-based lubricant.
Who is this for? Anyone
What’s so great about this one? It’s made from primarily organic ingredients including aloe and hibiscus, green tea and others. Plus it’s inexpensive.
Any precautions to be aware of before I/we use it? Be aware of any allergens that you or your partner may have when choosing lubricants.

BUY NOW: $8

You Might Also Like …
Liberator Ramps + Wedges: Firm pillows, wedges and ramps specifically designed for sex.
Njoy Pure Wand: A curved stainless steel dildo/massager.

Nota Bene: If you purchase through these links, InsideHook may earn a small portion of the profits.
All photos via Sarah Van Liefde