It’s 2017, and the sexual revolution is fully underway, yet some of us are still a little shy about making that first big sex toy purchase. It’s totally understandable — getting your first vibrator can be intimidating, especially given how many options there are. But most toys are far less complicated than they seem, and once you get one, you’ll wonder what you were stressing about. Here are some quick-and-dirty shopping tips to guide beginners.
Take it slow
If you’re a newbie, you’re probably not going to want to start by bringing a gigantic piece of equipment into your life. Start small and simple, experiment on your own and then work your way up to something with more bells and whistles.
Sure, if you go into a brick and mortar sex shop, you get the benefit of a salesperson in the store steering you toward some location favorites, but it’s also likely you’ll feel a little inhibited and won’t want to take your time examining each item.
If you shop online, you have a huge selection, and you don’t have to worry about anyone peering over your shoulder. Go to websites that are really great at providing educational/expert information with their toys, like Babeland, Good Vibrations and the Sinclair Institute. Some sites even give you the option to chat with a live representative who can answer your questions.
“It doesn’t hurt to buy a sex toy book, which can guide you with all of your options and how to use them safely while maximizing pleasure,” says Astroglide’s sexual health and wellness ambassador and sex expert, Dr. Yvonne Fulbright.
Don’t forget the lube
As with most sexual encounters, lube makes everything better when you’re experimenting with toys.
“No matter what, for a number of toys, the best and easiest use involves at least a couple of drops of lubricant for comfort,” says Fulbright.
Next Up: Your first vibe
Originally published October 2013. Updated February 2017.