A Guide to Choosing The Best Sex Toy For YOU

Choosing a toy is naturally a very personal decision, and what works for one person, whether in shape, size, feel or even colour, may not work for the next...

New to the world of rampant rabbits and vibrating everything? We got you. Whether you’re delving into the world of sex toys for the first time or simply have never found anything that’s quite hit the spot (if you know what we mean), you need not despair. From single, taken to ‘it’s complicated’, there are a plethora of toys out there to suit your every desire and kink, and we’re here to help you narrow down the process of finding The One. 

Choosing a toy is naturally a very personal decision, and what works for one person, whether in shape, size, feel or even colour, may not work for the next, says Renee Denyer of Sh!– an inclusive website for those of all sexualities to explore their unique relationship to sex and pleasure and purchase toys; pressure-free, hype-free and stereotype-free. 

First of all, take some time to think about what you’d like your toy to do for you. This may seem obvious (an orgasm!), but try digging a little deeper. What erogenous zones do you want to explore? Are you curious about clitoral stimulation, internal pleasure or perhaps both? Once you’ve decided on what kind of pleasure you’d like your toy to provide, you need to consider some practicalities next. Do you want it to feel soft and squishy, or do you think firm and sleek is the way to go? Do you think an intense buzz or something gentler will work better for you? Is size important? 

It can be difficult, especially, if you don’t have any experience with sex toys- how do you know what you like? The best way is to think about the type of manual stimulation you prefer. Do you need a soft, gentle touch to orgasm, or do you need firm and intense stimulation?

Still need some guidance? Screenshot this handy checklist and take note before making a purchase

Stay Simple: A toy with complicated controls may put you off. Try starting with an easy-on, easy-off vibe.

Sensations: Choosing a sex toy with more than one pleasure mode gives you more options to explore. 

Sound: If you live with flatmates or family, you will probably want a toy that is as quiet as possible.

Width: A toy that is too girthy for you will feel uncomfortable. If you’re unsure, trying a slimmer vibe is wise.

Length: You can always control how deep a penetrative toy goes, so the length is usually less of an issue.

Anal play: Any toy destined for the butt must have a flared base or handle to avoid getting sucked up into the rectum. Trust us on this. 

Price: It’s probably worth opting for something inexpensive for your first toy- once you know more about what you like in terms of intensity and size, you can upgrade to an all-singing, all-dancing version! Having said that, sometimes you do get what you pay for, and if you want the full, luxurious experience, take your time to research your options and make an investment. After all, can you really put a price on pleasure?

Also, lube is your best friend! Lube enhances sensations and makes play sexy, comfortable and pain-free: Shop here!

Toys to explore as a newbie

Toys to Explore In a Relationship

Currently taken? Toys can enhance your sex life x100 and add a sense of excitement and newness if you’ve been with your partner for a while, but approaching the subject is something that should be handled with care. 

“Before diving into the deep end of the sex toy pool, you need to find out if your partner is on the same page.” says Renee. “Think about what kind of sex toys turns you on. Find out what your love would like to try. Keep it light and romance over what kind of pleasure you’d like to explore together. The most important thing is to go gently because hurt feelings or bruised egos are real passion killers. Your partner mustn’t be made to feel inadequate, insecure or threatened by the idea of a sex toy. Rather than using “I want to try” say something like “I’d like to explore XYZ with you – how do you feel about that?”  Use language that makes it clear it’s a toy for you to enjoy together.”

Toys to use with your lover

Experiencing painful sex? Toys aren’t off limits!

There are many reasons as to why someone may experience pain with intercourse, and as a result be worried about introducing toys, but the good news is they’re not off limits! One common reason is Vaginismus- a term used to describe recurrent or persistent involuntary tightening of muscles around the vagina whenever penetration is attempted, with symptoms including burning or stinging pain upon penetration, which can lead to fear or loss of desire when penetration is attempted. It’s always advisable to speak with a GP or pelvic health specialist if you suspect you may have Vaginismus, but know that there are plenty of options for pleasure and joy both in relationships or solo- do not despair! External stimulation can be one way to make pleasure more accessible, as well as using silicone dilators to relax tense nerve-endings and build confidence with penetration if that’s your ultimate aim. The clitoris has over 8,000 nerve endings and as a result is one of the most sensitive erogenous zones, making pleasure solely from this area very possible… 

Knowing where to invest

Toys can be expensive, but do you really get what you pay for? Let’s just say if you work it out per orgasm, a luxury vibrator is worth saving up for. A more expensive toy will typically be made from a body-safe, hypoallergenic and non-porous material like silicone, says Renee from Sh!, which feels sensual to touch, warms up to body temperature during use and is easy to keep clean- divine! The motors tend to be stronger, last longer and be whisper-quiet. You will have several modes to choose from, often with an option to increase or decrease the intensity of the pleasure modes- yes please. Luxe toys are also usually 100% waterproof, giving you the option of playing in the shower or bathtub (oh la la), and an expensive toy may even come with extras, such as free lube or a storage bag. If you don’t know what sensations or style of toy you’re looking for it’s best not to drop £100 at the first instant, but in the long run investing in your pleasure isn’t a purchase you’ll regret. 

Caring For Your Toys

So you’ve made your first sex toy purchase, now it’s time to make sure it lasts. Turns out it’s pretty simple, and cleaning your toys can be done with a specific sex toy cleaner (simply spritz on and rinse off), or washed with antibacterial hand wash and warm water before leaving to air dry. It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to remove any batteries before you wash your toys, and store your batteries separately. Even when not in use, sex toys can still suck up battery juice, leaving your favourite bedroom bae out of power when you need it…

In contrast, sex toys made from porous and semi-porous materials need extra care as the teeny-tiny pores mean that lube and bodily fluids will sink in even if you clean them really well. The team at Sh! recommend using condoms to help keep your porous and semi-porous toys cleaner and prolong their life. FYI: silicone, stainless steel and glass toys are non-porous and the easiest to keep clean! Store your toys in groups of material, so silicone toys with silicone toys and so on. Cheaper materials like jelly can negatively affect your silicone toys, which you’ll know by the silicone toy suddenly looking “dusty” and as if the material is disintegrating. 

*All products on this page have been picked by our editorial team but some are ad-affiliate links