When it comes to the all-time best sex toys and resources, few people are as knowledgeable as the experts and therapists whose main job is making sure that sex is as pleasurable as possible for their clients. That’s why I reached out to a handful of amazing sex therapists (both local and international) to learn about the best bedroom toys according to the experts, as well as a few great resources to check out before you start experimenting with toys.
According to a recent study, about half of American adults — both men and women — have used a vibrator for either solo-play or during intercourse. Consequently, it would seem that the long-perpetuated myth about the fear of sex toys is finally fading away.
“Many women and men use sex toys, and research suggests that those who use them actually report higher levels of sexual satisfaction,” says sexologist, writer, and consultant Dr. Jessica O’Reilly. “Though more women are willing to admit to owning a sex toy, men’s attitudes are also overwhelmingly positive, with 70 percent reporting that they don’t find them intimidating.” If you’re looking to introduce some toys into the bedroom for beyond-stimulating couple play, check out these top recommendations from the specialists and sex therapists themselves.
Sex Toys Don’t Need To Be Complicated
According to Dr. Tammy Nelson, a Board Certified Sexologist and author of Getting the Sex You Want and The New Monogamy, “Sex toys don't need to be complicated. In fact, a simple eye mask made of silk or nylon can start many couples on the road to a more intense or edgy sexual experience… Being unaware of what's coming next can add a titillating aspect to your sexual play — hence the word ‘sex toy.’” This one’s super comfortable, easy to adjust, and comfortably covers your eyes with high-quality mulberry silk. “And the extra bonus?” Nelson says, “No batteries required.”
A Vibrator For Fans Of Subtlety
Laurie Watson, LMFT, certified sex therapist, and Podcast host of FOREPLAY - Radio Sex Therapy personally recommends the rechargeable, quiet, and lightweight Acuvibe mini massager because it’s much more powerful than other sex toys made for clitoral stimulation. “This vibrator is for the shy woman who has trouble orgasming,” Watson says. “One, It doesn’t look like a sex toy that your girlfriends need to retrieve from under the bed should you die unexpectedly and don’t want to die again of embarrassment, and two, it has a powerful vibration frequency that stimulates the inner pelvis unseen ‘legs’ of the clitoris.”
Try Polished Steel For Stimulating Temperature Play
Megan Fleming, PhD., a NYC based sex an relationship expert, recommends the PURE Njoy G-spot metal wand, which is a 7.5 inch stimulation toy made out of polished steel. “I love this toy and highly recommend for anyone who loves G-spot stimulation or is curious to explore,” Fleming says. “It’s easy to clean with soap and water. The steel also makes a great conduit for hot and cold temperature/sensation play (be careful that it doesn’t get too hot or cold before using it, though).”
“Clitorises Are Like Ninjas”
Rosara Torrisi is an AASECT certified sex therapist and the founder and supervising therapist of the Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy (LIIST) on Long Island in New York. "Clitorises are like ninjas,” Torrisi says. “They look dainty, but they can pack a punch." She recommends the Hitachi magic wand massager, which has an extra powerful cushioned head, because “clitorises are often the source of sexual pleasure, and many individuals underestimate the intensity of vibration they will need, especially as bodies age or with changes in health.”
Study Up On Your Bondage Before Trying It
“If someone is considering bondage toys,” says sex therapist Rosara Torrisi, “I highly recommend a book such as 50 Shades of Kink by Tristan Taormino.” It’s a wealth of information for any beginners who want to broaden their bondage horizons. “Many people take forays into kink for various reasons,” Torrisi says, “but most don't have community conversations about the standards of practice and experiences can go south quickly if people aren't informed, especially with regard to consent and boundaries.”
(Psst! You can also check out this title on Kindle with a free 30-day trial.)
A Must-Have Toy For Any Woman
According to sex and marital therapist Sue McGarvie, “a great, wonderful, must-have, incredible toy” is a rabbit like the Utimi's silicone rotating Rabbit vibrator. “They work inside and out,” McGarvie says. “The Twisting and vibration of these vibrators can be changed by the controls on the base. The branch stimulates the clitoris and you end up singing Ava Maria.” This one is made from a body-safe silicon material that’s also waterproof, so it’s easy to clean.
All The Power Of A Plug Without The Plug
New York City sex therapist Stephen Snyder MD says, “With vibrators, as with vacuum cleaners, power is important,” and that’s why he recommends the updated version, Rechargeable Magic Wand. “Traditionally, the most powerful ones have been the plug-in kind… Now that the Magic Wand is finally available in a rechargeable model that you don't have to plug in, it's a whole new world.” Without wires, it delivers a deep, penetrating massage with its firm head, and this one also comes with a complimentary massage lotion.
Put Certain Positions Back On The Menu
According to Sari Cooper, who is an AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist and a Licensed Psychotherapist, the Liberator Jaz sex positioning pillow is often recommended to clients who have trouble performing certain positions due to inflexibility or injury. “Their partner may not realize that this is the reason and feel frustrated or hurt that an experience that gives them so much pleasure has been taken off the ‘sexual menu.’” The wedge pillow is comfortable, yet sturdy enough to allow for adequate support, and the cover is removable for easy cleaning.
If You’re Considering Anal Play, Check Out These Great Resources
The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure Audio CD , $6, Amazon ; Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women , $23, Amazon
According to sex therapist Rosara Torrisi, couples could definitely benefit from some light (but educational) reading if they’re planning on delving into anal play. “If someone is newly considering anal play, I strongly urge them to read The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure by Charlie Glickman. Anuses are equal opportunity erogenous zones (since almost all bodies have them) and having an expert guide for how to have pleasurable anal sex is often essential. For those without prostates, Tristan Taormino's Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women is a wonderful guide.”
Try A Male-Oriented Toy To Increase His Pleasure During Sex
Another recommendation from the experts at Long Island Institute of Sex Therapy, “The Tenga 3D Sleeves are technically for solo masturbation, but they are also wonderful for couples to use in all sex play. The couples we work with find the sleeves especially useful for mobility, endurance or strength issues during oral sex or manual (with hands) sex.” It’s reusable, easy to clean, is made with a finely-ribbed stretchy material to increase pleasure, and comes with a great water-based lubricant.
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