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Sex Toy Sommelier is our monthly sex toy matchmaking and advice column at SheKnows. Whether you’re taking your first brave steps into the world of sex toys and sexual health accessories (welcome, it’s fun here!) or an old pro looking to add some new goodies to your existing collection (hello to you too!), Health & Sex Editor Katherine Speller is here to help SheKnows readers level-up their bedside tables, toy chests and/or DIY sex dungeons with the tools they need to feel deeply satisfied — and give some pro-tips on how introduce some of these new toys and tools into your sex life along the way.
Write in to let us know what you’re into, what you want to be into or what you’re in the market for via our hotline (we’ll keep things anonymous, of course) and we’ll do our very best to drop a range of toys and sexual health products that meet your tastes, wants and needs. While money certainly can’t buy you love, it can buy you orgasms — which can be just as good, TBH.
Being a Health & Sex Editor, I’ve cultivated a very specific set of semi-useful skills over the years. I can talk a friend off a WebMD ledge, I can advise on some of the weird/gross/chaotic things our bodies do and I have a deep well of knowledge of which sex toys (of the many, many on the market I’ve tried, reviewed and learned about over the years) my friends will end up loving. The latter one is an excellent (if NSFW) party trick, sure, but it’s also something I’ve been looking forward to extending to our readers — as a chance to make sure anyone who feels overwhelmed by just how many toys and sexual health products are out there (hello saturated market!) can have a chill, shame-free way to get some personal recommendations tailored to what their bodies, minds and hearts want.
So that’s why we’re here — and I’m hoping along the way we’ll bust any remaining sex negative stigma, have a few laughs and make some sweet love matches between you and some medical grade silicone (or various other body safe materials).
Which brings us to our first-ever question:
Dear Sex Toy Sommelier,
Hello! I’m a Leo/Aries/Scorpio searching to mix up it up! I have explored my kinky side with partners, but am looking to go a little further into that world. I have plenty of vibes at home so whatever could bring something a little new and different into my life would be my ideal toy. Thank you for all your help!
A Star-Crossed Solo Lover
This is something every person (partnered or not) will deal with at some time or another — just a hazard of having a body, a brain and a sex drive. Sometimes the patterns we fall into stop serving us and the things that used to feel really exciting just kinda fizzle out. But like any relationship, you’ve gotta occasionally look for ways to change things up and reconsider how you approach getting off. Because, let’s be real: Sometimes you gotta seduce yourself!
And astrologically speaking, with that fire (Leo and Aries) and sweet Scorpio intensity, it won’t hurt to remember that your brain is your most important sex organ. It’s cheese-tastic to say, I know, but it’s also true. So no matter what capital-g Gear you acquire, finding things that stimulate your mind and your imagination first will always be the first step to getting yourself out of a slump.
Set the mood
So my first recommendation for you isn’t exactly a toy but it is a vibe — and it’s going to have to be Dipsea. If you’re craving some sweet, kinky intimacy or just some high quality fantasy material, this audio erotica app is going to be a holy grail pick for you: A dirty lil library of hot experiences. With a range of inclusive and deeply sensual serialized and one-off stories (first and second person, audio and written), guided meditation experiences there’s like so many different ways to explore different ways to explore your body. There’s plenty of kinky “hunks” (a gender neutral term in Dipsea-verse!) and interesting dynamics to listen in on, which might help quench your thirst for the freaky while flying solo.
It starts at $12.99 a month or $59.99 per year and you can give it a go for a trial period to see if it’s something you’re into first.
That being said, I’ve got plenty of capital-G gear recs for you, too.
Don’t neglect the nipples
Another out-of-the-box (the box being the genitals) option: It might be time to re-think your relationship to nipple stimulation.
Nipple play can easily be overlooked if you’ve gotten into your routines with the same few toys (even if they’re good ones!), so snagging a pair of vibrating nipple clamps might be the move for you. If you like a little bit of bite with the pleasure and want something hands free and useful with future partners, these little guys pack a lot of bang for your buck.
Magic Wands — not overrated!
Wand vibrators have been around forever in various forms and remain an iconic staple for people all across the spectrum of kink and vanilla — with the iconic Hitachi Magic Wand as a longtime cult favorite. They’re simple to use, mighty powerful and they’re versatile enough to fit into all kinds of creative sexual encounters. Like, want clitoral stimulation while you’re being penetrated? Hold the wand. Want to edge yourself or a partner easily and maddeningly? Try the wand. Have a bit of a knot in your back in a spot you can’t reach? Wand!
While I’ve owned and loved a Hitachi or two in my time, my go-to wand as of late has been Unbound’s Ollie. She’s a subtle and adorable cordless sibling to other more intimidating-looking wands but can be just as satisfying (without the sounds or overheating that tend to come from a bigger, plug-in toy after months and months of use). For someone with their fair share of toys and a kinky streak, this kind of toy can also pair well with a wearable waistband harness to make for some hands-free fun (plus, a dose of leather, if that’s your thing).
These things are great whether you’ve got a freaky partner or you’re your own freaky partner — and their versatility means they can adapt to your various moods.
We’ll be back next month with another edition of Sex Toy Sommelier and don’t forget to send us your asks so we can help you find your perfect sex toy match. And in the meantime, check out 100 (yes, 100) sex toys we’ve recommended before to tide you over:
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