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Sex-cessories: Your Guide to Adult Toys

We're secretly convinced that more people would use and enjoy sex toys if only it wasn't so darn intimidating to walk into the store, hold up a random silicone thing, and ask, "Umm, what exactly is this for?" It's not always exactly obvious; sometimes you just have to ask. Everyone could use a little "oomph" in their sexy-time routine, and although people who work in reputable sex shops are invariably knowledgeable and nonjudgmental, that doesn't mean that the experience of shopping for a new vibrator or toy isn't intimidating. Wouldn't it be nice if you at least knew the basics? Well, we've put together a primer on some of the most popular types of adult toys and what they're used for. All that's left for you to do is to try them all and see what you like best!
  • Vibrators

    There are almost as many different types of vibrators as there are vaginas. Small ones, big ones, plastic ones, silicone ones, battery-operated, plug-in, remote-controlled, finger-mounted, extra-quiet—the list goes on. At its most basic, a vibrator is meant to stay on the outside of the body and stimulate the clitoris, or anywhere else you find pleasurable, to help achieve orgasm. This bright little device has won multiple design awards and been called out in major publications like Cosmopolitan and GQ as being the best of the bunch. (Jimmyjane Form 6 Waterproof Rechargeable Vibrating Massager; $175.)

  • G-Spot Vibrators

    Some women enjoy G-spot stimulation, so these vibrators are designed with a bulbous head to be inserted into the vagina. Different varieties come in glass, plastic, or realistic-feeling silicone. The popular “rabbit-style” vibrators are G-spot vibrators that include an extra arm for simultaneous clitoral stimulation. (Adam & Eve G-Gasm Delight G-Spot Vibrator; $19.95)

  • Dildos

    Whether they’re made of glass, silicone, or metal, and whether they’re futuristic or realistic, a dildo is designed to be inserted into the vagina or anus to simulate the thrusting of intercourse, either solo or with a partner. They come in many different sizes to fit different bodies and can usually be mounted onto a harness for hands-free use on a partner. Most dildos are designed to vaguely resemble an erect penis, and dildos earmarked for anal play have a broad base that prevents them from sliding all the way inside. (Good Vibrations Mustang VixSkin Realistic Dildo; $114)

  • Cock Rings/Erection Rings

    A basic silicone cock ring either fits around the base of the penis for extra sensation or around both the penis and testicles to intensify an erection and delay ejaculation. Some models have small vibrators attached that can either be used with a partner or during masturbation. Cock rings aren’t designed to be worn for long periods of time, however, and should be removed immediately at the first sign of pain, numbness, or cold. (Babeland RingO Cock Rings; $14 for set of three)

  • Sex Furniture

    These soft foam shapes provide support to help you and your partner get into positions that allow deeper penetration at new and different angles. The assortment of ramps, wedges, pillows, and other shapes can be combined and customized, and they also make great accessories for those with physical limitations that make holding one position difficult. (Liberator Hipster; $160)

  • Butt Plugs

    Where regular dildos are made to slip in and out, the taper-shaped butt plug is meant to stay snugly inside the rectum. They come in different sizes, shapes, and materials and are meant to be left in place during other activities, providing a pleasurable sense of fullness. Butt plugs usually have a flared base that prevents them from being inserted too far, and some, like the one shown here, come with vibrating features. (Good Vibrations B-Bomb Vibrating Silicone Plug; $46)

  • Anal Beads

    Strings of anal beads are meant to be inserted into the rectum for the pleasurable sensations they arouse as they glide in, or they can be removed during orgasm to intensify the contractions. Many other anal sex toys are made with bead or bulb features to provide the same feeling. (Adam & Eve Sassy Anal Beads, $9.95)

  • Ben Wa Balls

    Ben-Wa balls are the vaginal version of anal beads, but with the added bonus that using them can tone your pubococcygeus muscles, much like Kegel exercises. Although the balls are often used during foreplay or non-penetrative sex, they can also be worn during the day to strengthen the pelvic floor. (Adam & Eve Lelo Luna Pleasure Beads, $47)

  • Prostate Massager

    Originally designed as an alternative to a doctor-administered prostate massage, which is intended to help maintain prostate function, the Aneros stimulates the prostate and the perineum for harder and more numerous orgasms, used alone or with a partner. (Aneros MGX; $49.95)

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