Sex Toys 101

This article was originally featured on the Ending HIV New Zealand website (Kia Ora to our Kiwi mates!)

When it comes to using sex toys, it can be tricky to work out where to start.

Using toys is a great way to train your body for sex, and using them with a partner can make sex pretty damn amazing, but before you get into all that there are a few things you’ll need to know.

Sex Toys 101

Anal toys

Any toys that go in your butt need to have a base to stop them going completely inside. Toys without bases are designed for vaginas, which have muscles to push toys back out. Your butt doesn’t have these muscles and any toy completely inserted can very easily be retracted deep inside and will require an awkward trip to the emergency room to remove.

Lube

Always use lots of water-based lube. Silicone-based lube is best avoided because it will melt any silicone sex toys it comes in contact with. It also won’t wash out of your sheets like water-based lube will.

Sharing

If you’re using a toy with someone else it’s important to make sure the toys are properly cleaned before they go from one partner to another. The easiest way to ensure hygiene is to use a condom on the toy and change the condom each time the toy changes hands (or holes). If you need some condoms, click here to get some for free.

Cleaning

Clean your toys using soap and hot water, and make sure there is no soap left on the toy once you’re done cleaning. Soaps react badly with the lining of your butt so be extra careful to rinse them off thoroughly.

Safety

Take care with any sex toys, like bondage toys, that restrict your movement or ability to communicate. If anyone is getting bound, blindfolded or gagged, make sure you don’t restrict blood flow, always keep some safety scissors on hand, and if they can’t talk to tell you to stop or use a safe-word then give them something like a large set of keys that they can drop to let you know if things are going too far and they need a break.

Storage

Store toys so they aren’t touching one another. Over long periods of time the plastics of different toys can degrade one another. Good toys should come with a dedicated storage pouch or packaging that can be kept to store them in.

Toys to change things up (or something else)

Want to try some BDSM?

See yourself as the next Christian Grey, or maybe you want to get bound, gagged and fucked yourself? Bondage toys can be awesome fun but you have to make sure you’re looking after yourself and your partner. Having more hardcore sex doesn’t mean having unsafe sex, so always use condoms and plenty of lube. Consent needs to be given by everyone involved to bind or dominate someone, and this consent needs to be able to be maintained throughout whatever it is you’re doing together.

A lot of people use safe words to let their partner know when something is going too far, others use a “traffic light” system, in which green means all good to go, orange is be careful, and red means let’s take a break. If someone is gagged and can’t speak easily, make sure they have something like a heavy set of keys in hand which can be dropped in place of using the safe word.

Any restraints used must not cut off any blood flow, and keeping some safety scissors on hand is a must, just in case something slips too tight. If you use ropes, proper bondage rope will help avoid giving the bound person rope burn, and make sure you do some research into which knots to use to avoid bindings that restrict circulation, or which can accidentally slip tighter. Most importantly, have fun!

If you and your partner are both bottoms

There are some really cool toys you can use with your partner if you’re both wanting to get fucked. The best starting point is using a dildo on one another, 69er style. Double ended dildos are also a great time. The best way to use one of these is to have both of you lying on your backs, butts together, legs overlapped and heads at the far end from each other, and it helps a lot if at least one person can push against a wall above their head to offer some leverage for motion.

Another option for both of you getting fucked is to attach a suction cup dildo to a wall and have one partner back onto it, then have the other guy back onto that person’s cock. This works really well in the shower when the dildo is stuck to one wall, and the partner at the front can brace himself against the opposite wall. Just make sure you use extra lube if the water is washing it away, and put down a non-slip mat so that there’s no risk of falling over.

If you and your partner are both tops

There are masturbation sleeves that have holes to fuck at each end. You could also give vibration play a try. Strong vibrators, or dedicated toys like the Cobra Libre that are held against your dick can make you cum without any stroking involved, depending on how sensitive your cock is. It’s a pretty cool sensation and the same vibrator can get you both off at the same time if you’re in the right position. If you’re having trouble finding a toy strong enough, have a look at getting a wand vibrator.

Toys to make fucking easier

If you find it difficult to bottom

If it’s difficult for you to get fucked, or if you haven’t been fucked before, try using a small silicone butt plug or dildo with a base. Silicone is great because it’s flexible and will curve to the shape of your ass, just make sure you use a water-based lube, because silicone lube will react with your toy and start to melt it away.

Once your toy is lubed up, start playing with your hole with your lubed up fingers (short fingernails are a must) and then bring the tip of the toy to your hole. When you’re ready, very slowly push the toy inside. It will help to “push out” as you insert the toy, as this relaxes the inner ring of muscles in your anus. You may get part way and need a break, this is totally normal. Just go at your own pace and don’t force things.

It should never be painful – if it is then you’re doing something wrong, so stop, take a break, and get back to it slowly. When you’re comfortable with a small toy, you may choose to gradually build up the size until you can take something larger. Pay particular attention to the angle you like to get fucked at and how the toy stimulates your prostate (that pleasure spot in your butt which is about a thumb’s length inside, towards your belly button), this is useful knowledge to use when you next have sex.

If you find it difficult to use a condom when topping

If you want to get better at wearing a condom, the best thing you can do is practise wearing them when you masturbate. Wearing a condom and fucking a masturbation sleeve, Fleshlight or other similar fake orifice will help you get used to the feeling and have you topping like a pro. If you’re HIV negative and struggle with consistent condom use, you could consider taking PrEP to stay safe during sex. But remember that while PrEP is great at preventing HIV transmission, it won’t protect you against other STIs like gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia.

Toys to help improve your performance

If you cum sooner than you want to

It’s pretty common for tops to need to blow their load really quickly. If this is something that bothers you then have a try with a masturbation sleeve. These come in all different shapes and sizes, from little jelly sleeves to the well-known Fleshlight or Fleshjack variety. Choose a toy that fits your interest and see how you find fucking that instead. The bumps and ridges inside the sleeves will stimulate your cock more than jerking off with your hand and you can slowly train yourself to last longer. Make sure you always use lube with your sleeve and clean it thoroughly after each use.

Want to improve your erections?

There are lots of reasons why some guys have trouble keeping an erection or getting a really hard erection. One thing that can help with this is prostate stimulation. The prostate gland produces fluid used in ejaculation, and stimulating it not only feels amazing, it can also make you harder. You stimulate the prostate anally, and it’s best done using a dildo (with a base on it) or a prostate massager, which is like a butt plug, but with a special shape to directly hit your special spot. Other toys can get to it as well, and, of course, your partner’s cock is likely to hit it if you’re getting fucked. The best thing about prostate stimulation is that the benefits are maintained even at times when your prostate is not being stimulated. Training your prostate will give you harder erections and stronger orgasms in general.

Whether you are using your sex toys for personal betterment, or just to spice things up in the bedroom, always stay safe!