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Whether you want to spice up a long-term relationship, explore sensations with new partners, or enhance your solo masturbation, sex toys can add excitement to your sex life.

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What Are Sex Toys?

A sex toy is any object or device made to enhance sexual pleasure or facilitate an orgasm. When safely used, sex toys can bring an entirely new element to a sexual encounter. There are several different types of sex toys, and each is designed for a unique form of pleasure.

7 Types of Sex Toys

Sex toys come in many shapes and sizes, but they typically fall within seven categories.

  1. Vibrators: These sex toys use vibration patterns to stimulate different parts of your body. External vibrators include clitoral stimulators like bullet vibrators and wands, which enhance pleasure around the clitoris and labia. Internal vibrators are shaped for comfortable vaginal and anal penetration. They usually include several vibration modes, so you can find the right intensity for you. Combination vibrators like rabbit vibrators include both internal and external functions. Rabbits are hybrid sex toys that allow for penatration while simultaneously simulating your clit.
  2. Anal toys: Some sex toys are specifically designed to stimlute the nerve endings in your anus. Examples of anal toys include butt plugs, prostate massagers, and anal beads. The important thing to look for when choosing an anal toy is a flared base. This wider base ensures that the toy doesn’t accidentally slip inside your anus. Since the anus doesn’t naturally lubricate itself, anal toys require a lot of lubrication. Don’t forget to clean your anal toy after each use, especially if you’re sharing the toy with a partner or plan to use it on another part of your body.
  3. BDSM gear: BDSM toys can enhance sexual pleasure by allowing for dominant and submissive roleplaying. If you are new to bondage, consider buying a pair of handcuffs, a blindfold, or wrist and ankle restraints. These simple items can add an exciting element to your sexual encounters by forcing you to focus on every physical sensation. If you enjoy erotic spanking, consider using a paddles, whips, or ticklers. When using BDSM gear, always be sure to have an agreed-upon safe word that you can use if you are ever feeling uncomfortable. Trust and communication are key for good bondage play.
  4. Dildos: One of the most popular types of sex toys, dildo are often phallic in shape. They are designed to comfortably penetrate a vagina, anus, or mouth. Dildos come in many shapes and sizes, but they are often textured with pleasurable ribs or bumps and made out of silicone, glass, and even steel. If you are having solo sex, consider buying a dildo with a suction cup base that you can attach to a wall for hand-free use.
  5. Cock rings: These toys wrap around the base of your penis to stop blood flow back into the body, which can help maintain and enhance an erection. Some cock rings wrap around the scrotum to apply extra pressure. The safest cock rings are made from a soft material like silicone, but they also come in materials like titanium or stainless steel. Vibrating cock rings can enhance sexual pleasure for the wearer and provide clitoral stimulation for a partner. Only wear a cock ring for brief sessions, and take it off immediately if it causes you any pain.
  6. Harnesses: Harnesses allow you to attach a dildo to your body for strap-on play. Use a strap-on for penetrative sex, either vaginal or anal. Harnesses are often fit like underwear, but some have straps that tie around your thighs. You may also wear a harness for bondage purposes. For optimal mobility during sex, be sure to keep your harness snug and your dildo tightly attached.
  7. Sex furniture: Constructed for intimacy, sex furniture can help you position your body in a way that is otherwise difficult or uncomfortable. A wedge pillow is an easy way to lift your pelvis and hold a good position for penetration. Other examples of sex furniture include sex swings, lounge chairs, and shower grips. If you’ve been struggling with a particular sex position, consider getting a piece of sex furniture to support you.

There are seemingly endless variations of these types of sex toys, and the vast choices can feel daunting. If you put in the time to find the right sex toy for your needs, the exploration can lead to exciting and pleasurable discoveries.

Let’s Talk About Sex

Craving a little more intimacy? Grab a MasterClass Annual Membership and learn more about communicating openly with your partners, experimenting in the bedroom, and being your own best sexual advocate with a little help from Emily Morse (host of the wildly popular podcast Sex With Emily).