Sex toys - also called adult toys or "marriage helpers" - are items that people use to have more pleasure during sex or masturbation. Sometimes sex toys can be used medicinally if you have sexual dysfunction or a medical condition. There are many different types of sex toys and people use them for different reasons.
It is perfectly normal to use sex toys, but it is also completely normal not to use them - this is a personal decision and everyone is different. If you are using sex toys safely, there is nothing harmful.
Why do people use sex toys?
Anyone can choose sex toys for a variety of reasons. For some, using sex toys is the easiest (or only) way to achieve orgasm - this is especially true for people with a vulva. Sometimes people use sex toys to masturbate. People can also use sex toys while having sex with their partners.
For transgender people, non-binary or gender non-conforming people, certain sex toys can help confirm their gender identity or alleviate gender dysphoria.
Some people with disabilities or limited mobility use sex toys to make it easier to masturbate, have sex, or perform certain sexual activities or positions that would otherwise be more difficult or impossible for them.
Adult toys can also help treat the symptoms of certain disorders, such as erectile dysfunction, sexual arousal disorder, hypoactive sexual disorder, and orgasm disorder. Some people find that sex toys can help them deal with the side effects of certain medications, health conditions, or menopause, such as decreased sex drive or decreased sensitivity of the genitals.
How do I use sex toys safely?
Sharing sex toys with other people can spread STDs - if someone with an STD uses a sex toy, the body fluids on that toy can transmit the infection to the next person who uses that toy. Therefore, if you are using a sex toy with a partner, it is important to take steps to prevent STDs.
Wash sex toys with mild soap and water after you use them, but before they touch another person's genitals. By putting condoms on sex toys, you can keep them clean and prevent the spread of STDs. Just make sure you change the condom before the toy touches another person's genitals.
If you are using a sex toy in your anus, make sure you use a lot of lubricant. The anus is not lubricated (does not get wet) like the vagina, so it can be painful, uncomfortable, and even unsafe to insert something into the buttock without adding lubricant. And never insert a sex toy that was in your anus into your vagina without washing it or changing your condom. Getting germs from the anus into the vagina can lead to vaginitis.
It is also important to make sure that any sex toy you use in your anus has a wide base or some other way to prevent it from entering completely. If the sex toy enters your anus so far that you cannot reach it, you may need to see a nurse or doctor to get rid of it. (You cannot lose the sex toy in the vagina because the cervix blocks the end.)
Do not use silicone lubricant with adult sex toys (unless you put condoms on them) - silicone lubricant can react with the hard silicone in the toy and damage it. Water-based lubricant is a safe option to use with any sex toy (and any condom).
If you put a sex toy inside your body (mouth, vagina, or anus), it is best to use a toy made from a body-safe, non-porous material - for example, 100% silicone (no silicone mixture), hard plastic, stainless steel. Aluminum and impact resistant glass. Toys made with non-porous materials do not absorb germs and are easier to keep clean.
Sex toys made from materials that can be porous - such as silicone blend, gum, PVC, vinyl, TPR, TPE, elastomer, or other elastic plastics - can absorb germs that can lead to infections even if you always wash toy. But you can always use a condom on your toy to keep it clean and free of possible germs from entering your body.
To find out how best to clean and care for your anal sex toy, read the instructions that came with it or ask the staff at your local sex toy store.
It's always best to use sex toys like vibrating eggs that are specifically made for sex, especially if you put them inside your body. DIY sex toys can be unsafe, especially if they break, have rough, sharp, or loose parts, are made from unsanitary materials, or cause a reaction.
Where can I buy sex toys?
Sex toys can be bought at specialty stores commonly called sex shops, sex shops, or adult stores. Depending on the policy of the store, you may need to be over a certain age (for example, 16 or 18) to shop there. Some pharmacies, pharmacies, or large retail stores sell small quantities of the more common sex toys, such as vibrator sex toys.
Many sex shops and sex toy brands have websites where you can buy products online (they usually ship in plain packaging for privacy). To make sure your sex toy really matches your opinion, it is best to buy it from trusted stores or websites that have detailed information about their products.
Some sex shops specifically target certain clients, such as women or the LGBT community. Feminist and some LGBT-focused sex shops often offer a wide variety of merchandise for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, as well as staff that provide a more comfortable, rewarding and knowledgeable experience for women, women and LGBT people.
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