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TOY-TASTIC: What sex toys can teach us about sex and ourselves

Whatever your current opinion on sex toys might be...kinky? Dirty? Fun? Are they Exploratory? The fact of the matter is, the more you know, the better!

What IS a Sex Toy?

At the end of the day, sex toys are simply pieces of plastic (or glass, metal or silicone) that can provide relief, discovery, rekindling, and much more. Libido often changes with age, especially when hormones do the menopausal shift. The intensity and urgency of desire frequently diminishes and it can take a little more intimate attention to stir up the juices. Wherever you are on your level of desire we know enough of you are curious about how sex toys can bring back that playful sexy feeling. Sex toys might be fun with a partner, but they really shine when it comes to adding some mojo to loving yourself solo.

We’re going to take a look at the toys on offer and dive into how each group works, what it is best for, and our recommendations. Because, whatever your personal belief and comfort level about sex toys might be, a little knowledge can open the door to a lot of possibilities.

This is a comprehensive guide to the wild and wonderful variety of sex toys out there. We have tried to focus mainly on female pleasure, though there are a few in there for the male in your life who might want to join. Enjoy!


A dildo is a phallic-shaped sex toy that is designed to stimulate your internal erogenous zones, including the G-spot and the P-spot. Dildos can be used vaginally, anally, and - if they vibrate - externally, too, depending on which type of dildo you buy.

They vary WILDLY in terms of texture, length and girth, so don’t be alarmed by the idea of a dildo. Modern dildos are also exploring both curvature (to reach the elusive ‘g-spot’) and the material from which they are made.

Our top picks include;

  • Njoy Pure Wand; don’t be alarmed by the look of this, the double end allows you to choose your ‘size’ preference, it is easy to clean, and designed to help reach erogenous zones.
  • Dame’s Arc; a dildo/vibrator, this slimline silicone toy can be enjoyed both internally and externally.
  • Glass Candy Land Juicer; ignoring the silly name, this toy is small, but features a lot of texture to stimulate the vagina. Glass toys are not fragile, and in fact are both easy to clean and can be warmed or cooled for additional sensation.


Suction toys vary a lot in terms of what people think of, from things such as a ‘pussy pump’ (yes, really), to the best selling ‘Satisfyer’ these toys can be great for women experiencing penetration pain, as they are gentle and don’t involve any.

  • The Satisfyer Pro 2; as someone who owns this toy, I’ll give it a hell yes, but it is also discreet, with settings from ultra gentle, to ‘holy sh*t’, and a totally female oriented sex toy.
  • The Doc Johnson Pussy Pump; if you’ve not heard of this, we get it. They’re not the run of the mill sex toy, but they are clever. Designed with a suction cup to increase blood flow to the vagina, they can help increase sensitivity in the area. This may sound counter intuitive if you’re in pain, but remember, this is something that can help improve blood flow to the area, and increase arousal to the clitoris, for external, non-penetrative pleasure.
  • Womanizer Duo; A mini dildo/vibrator and suction in one, this toy is working to match it’s price tag. Although expensive, it does a lot, and can help you transition from external stimulation to penetration.


Oral sex can be a fun and less painful way to experience intimacy if you are having trouble with penetration. It allows you and your partner to be close and sexually intimate with one another and can be the whole act or just the intro.

These toys can help with a partner, if you are solo, or if you are looking to explore your own body a little more and figure out your own parameters of pleasure.

  • Red Hot Flickering Tongue; this is technically a vibrator, but its purpose is to mimic oral sex. It can be intense, although it does have multiple settings to allow more choice. This can be used on the clitoris/vulva to enhance pleasure before, during or on it’s own.
  • Sqweel Go; this thing reminds us of something you attach to a hose to water your lawn...and hopefully it has a similar effect. There are a lot of good reviews, and it is noted for being gentle, which is a positive if you’re experiencing painful sensations.
  • Fleshlight; this one is for the man in your life (if there is one). Fleshlights can be used solo, or as a masturbatory aid during hand play or oral. This is the compact version, more designed for partner play, and can be a good way to include your partner in your exploratory process if he is willing.


Vibrators refer to toys that either stimulate the clitoris or vulva, or are inserted into the vagina. Some can do both, some are not designed to be inserted. Some of the toys we have listed are also considered vibrators (the arc, the flickering tongue). Vibrators use vibration - no surprise - on your genitals as foreplay or to reach climax.

This is arguably the largest category of sex toys on the market, and they are popular for a reason. With a variety of vibration intensities and patterns, vibrators can be used in a plethora of ways to find pleasure.

  • Remote Control Love Egg; this is one of many, but it is easy to use, simple and can be used both externally and internally thanks to a little ‘tail’. Furthermore, with a remote, you can be as hands off as you like, or can even allow your partner to play with you.
  • Fin: Dame products make simple (non stupidly named) sex toys for women, by women, and Fin is no exception. This discreet finger vibrator is compact, easy to use and a great toy if you’re new to toys.
  • Magic Wand; made famous as the back massager turned vibrator, this is popular due to its multiple variations, cordless maneuverability and ability to stimulate everything from the clitoris to the nipples!
  • Bullet Vibrator: This is one of many - it just happens to be small, affordable and effective - but there are a lot to choose from. Bullet vibrators are a good way to begin exploring penetration if you have had concerns about it; with their slim design and gentle pulse they allow you to be in the driving seat for your pleasure.


These are less sex toys and more a way to strengthen your pelvic floor. There are ones that sync to apps, allowing you to track in real time the strengths of your ‘contractions’. However, some of the simpler and easier ones are graduated, weighted sets. These require no tech no-how, and are a great way to increase the tone of your pelvic floor which can improve sex, incontinence and your own comfort.

  • Joy On Kegel Balls: This highly popular set features a range of weights allowing you to work your way up in strength, plus it comes with a guide/toner workout!
  • Supersex Kegel Toner: These contain a free roaming inner ball, inside the main ball and stem, both for pleasure and to help you focus on awareness and sensation.
  • Joy On Kegel Exerciser: This one is slightly different in shape, but it pairs with an app to give you instruction and show you your strength and track it over time, which is a great way to see how you’re improving.


Any of the toys can be used with a partner if you so choose, however there are two main ones that are often great toys to use during sex if you’re not familiar with doing so; small clitoral vibrators, and ‘penis rings’.

Small vibrators can enhance your pleasure externally, which can be key if you need more than just penetration. Penis rings actually often have vibrators attached to them now, for this purpose, but they can also slow your man down if you need some more time.

  • Eva II: This clever toy looks a little odd, but it is designed to tuck around the labia, allowing hands free pleasure, or pleasure on your clitoris during sex.
  • Penis Rings: This one features a small top mounted vibrator, fun for both of you, so that you can enjoy both internal and external stimulation.

Ok, that was a lot to cover… And we know that this stuff can be intense and intimidating for some people. We are not suggesting you head out and buy everything on this list, but experimenting with your own comfort and boundaries can be a good thing if you are looking to reignite intimacy with a partner or just with yourself.

We will leave you with our final Top Five Tips to help when and if you are considering toys:

  1. USE LUBE! Toys and lube go together like chocolate and strawberries. They complement and enhance one another. Plus, when it comes to comfort, lube matters.
  2. Start Slow (and small), or non penetrative. Think about opting for suction or vibration based toys before you consider toys that require penetration. Take your time exploring your own erogenous zones (nipples etc) and work your way up...or down.
  3. Talk to your partner. This article covers the main topics from frequency, to opening up new topics with your significant other. We know it can be challenging, and our Sexy Sisterhood is always there to bounce ideas off.
  4. Take control, not in the Fifty Shades sense (unless you’re into that), but in the sense of your pleasure. Don’t be afraid to set a timeout on physical intimacy whilst you explore yourself, and don’t be afraid to initiate it and set the rules as you explore with your partner.
  5. Enjoy OTHER forms of intimacy; a fresh new date, a massage, a steamy hot tub, a dance class, cooking a new recipe for each other. Intimacy is not isolated to the realm of sex.