“The Talk” with Ari: Sex toys: Toys for grownups

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut. When this happens, turning toward sex toys to spice things up in the bedroom, help you reach the big O or aid in gender affirmation can put you back into a good mood. There are a myriad of websites out there selling sex toys or giving out information on them. However, not all of the information is accurate and not all toys are safe. Dr. Doe, host of the channel Sexplanations on YouTube, provides insightful information and resources on any topics related to sex. Additionally, Planned Parenthood has an entire inclusive article dedicated to sex toys and their uses, different types and safety

There are a few things to be said before jumping into this article. Please clean your sex toys before and after use every time. This can be done using mild antibacterial soap or a safe toy cleaner. This helps prevent yeast infections and STIs, as well as allows your toy to last longer. Another safety precaution is to not insert your sex toys into a vagina if they have been in an anus. The bacteria from the anus can cause vaginitis, which is inflammation of the vagina. Please look into what your sex toys are made of. There are no health regulations on sex toys, and toys made up of porous materials are more likely to latch onto germs. Lastly, make sure you are not using silicone lube with silicone toys. Imagine two balloons rubbing against one another — of course one of them pops. Similarly, the silicone lube will destroy your sex toys. Instead, aim for water-based lube if you don’t want to or can’t use condoms on your sex toys. Now, let me introduce you to the world of sex toys. 

Vibrating sex toys are some of the more popular toys in the category. Their vibrations can stimulate the clitoris, anus, vulva, nipples and other sensitive spots to help achieve orgasm quicker. With any sex toy, make sure to check whether they are an internal or external toy. You can pick between battery operated vibrators or ones you can charge as you go. Similarly, there are some vibrators with ten different speeds and others with one singular speed. If you find you don’t like the vibrations, you can still find ways to use the toy without turning it on. 

Next, we have dildos. These are often shaped like a penis. You can buy curved ones or realistic looking ones, and you can buy them in all colors and sizes. Like many sex toys, you can buy dildos made out of different materials, like glass or wood if you don’t like silicone. There are ones you can buy that stick on surfaces such as bathroom tiles for hands-free fun. There are some that are harness compatible. This means someone can wear a harness, which is clothing that can hold a sex toy, and use a dildo with it. 

Something important to remember is sex toys can be used for more than just pleasure. People can derive gender assurances from the use of sex toys and help express themselves. If someone doesn’t like using a harness and dildo combination, there are packers or prosthetics out there that create a bulge in clothing and feel realistic. Planned Parenthood mentions some packers that even allow you to pee standing up. They can be used in sexual or non-sexual ways. 

Another sex toy that can be used in a sexual or non-sexual way are Ben Wa balls, otherwise known as kegel balls. Kegel exercises in general help strengthen your pelvic floor, in turn helping you with controlling urination and strengthening interior muscles that can help promote pleasure during sex. If you don’t know if you are doing kegel exercises correctly or want to add some weight, kegel balls can help target those muscles and give added weight to help tone them. You can pop those babies in as you go about cleaning the house. Ben Wa balls can be used for sexual stimulation as well, building the anticipation for sex.

Sleeves and pumps are the next two toys. Sleeves, also known as strokers, are tubes of different shapes and sizes that you can put your penis in. They can have texture on the inside to amplify the sensations. Pumps can be tube sized or smaller and are vacuum-like toys that aid in bringing blood flow to sensitive parts of your body, like the penis, nipples or clitoris. These can be dangerous if you pump longer than recommended, so be sure to read the directions. 

This is merely an introduction to sex toys. There are so many other toys out there that I haven’t touched on. It goes without saying that using sex toys, or choosing not to, is your personal choice. Sex toys can be fun. They can offer people a chance to feel empowered or feel more comfortable in one’s skin. However, at the end of the day, it is your decision. Until next time, vibrate safely Bulldogs!