by Alicia Sinclair, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
With over fourteen years of experience developing, branding, and selling sex toys, I can personally attest to how daunting the idea of purchasing a pleasure product can seem. There are so many choices! Before you know it you’re overwhelmed and might be tempted to pick a product purely based on looks. However, if you want to love and enjoy your product purchase you must consider so much more.
Your first step is to decide on the type of stimulation you’d like to experience. The human body has many pleasure zones, so when you’re hunting for a vibrator it’s important to establish what you want to stimulate. If this is your first exploration into the world of pleasure enhancing products and you’re unsure of what you want to stimulate, a safe bet is a product that stimulates your clitoris. More that 70% of women need clitoral stimulation to experience an orgasm and with over 8000 nerve endings it is the only part of the human body (male or female) that is purely for pleasure.
Take a moment to think about the general shape of the product you’d like to purchase. Pleasure enhancing products come in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes to stimulate different body parts. The most sensitive pleasure zones are located on the outside of the body- such as your clitoris and the first couple inches inside the vagina. Although it’s important to point out that many women use vibrators and do not include penetration play at all.
This is about you and there is no right or wrong.
The strength of pleasure enhancing products range from soft and gentle pulsations, to deep and rumbling, or fast and powerful. To pick out the perfect vibe, it’s a good idea to know your sensitivity level. Ask yourself if you like soft or strong stimulation. Look for a pleasure product that has multiple levels of intensity. This gives you to ability to experiment and chose between various intensity levels from light to strong.
Pleasure Products touch the most intimate parts of your body. You always want to choose one that is safe for your body. Search for products that are made of silicone, hard plastic (ABS Plastic), glass, or stainless steel. Make sure to buy a product that has the words “Body-Safe” and/or “Phthalate-Free” in the description. Phthalates are a chemical used to soften plastics and are often found in low-quality pleasure products. Phthalates have been linked to cancer and are banned in the production of baby bottles and children’s toys- another key reason to buy a product made of body-safe materials.
Think about the type of battery or power source the best fits your needs. How your product is powered directly relates to the strength and usage time, so take this into account as you’re picking a product. Disposable battery operated products are the least expensive, however they last the shortest amount of time and are generally weaker in power comparatively. Rechargeable battery operated products command a higher price point, but they are significantly stronger, last longer, and you can feel extra pleasure from keeping batteries out of landfills! The only downside is that they must be recharged. Plug-in, corded products are the strongest devices. They tend to be lower in price and there is no need to replace disposable batteries or recharge them. Don’t forget that the cord limits your mobility!
If you like the idea of using your product in the bath or shower (or bath time is your only alone time!), look for a product that is “water submersible”. Note that there is a difference between waterproof products and water submersible. Waterproof means that the product is splash proof for play and cleaning. Water submersible means that the product can be used under running water and/ or underneath the water without being damaged.
Would you like to travel with your pleasure-enhancing friend? Prevent any embarrassing buzzing accidents by buying a product that has a travel lock.
It’s smart to search for products that offer a warranty. Reputable manufacturers of pleasure products issue a minimum one-year warranty to cover manufacturer defects.
Make sure to buy a compatible lubricant. The type of lubricant you use plays an important role in the life span of your products. Different types of lubricant are compatible to the material of the pleasure product. When in doubt, select water-based lubricant. It’s safe for use with any type of material. As a general rule of thumb, never use silicone lubricant with a silicone pleasure product. This will ruin your product and there is no pleasure in that!
Last, but not least, buy from a retailer that has top-notch associates. A well-educated associate will be able to personally help you select the best product for your needs. Plus, they’ll give you a demo of how the product works and suggest the right lubricant. A few of my favorite retail chains- that feature strong education programs for their sales associates- include Good Vibrations, Babeland, Pleasure Chest, She Bop, Hustler Hollywood, Castle Megastore, Fascinations, and Lover’s Lane. All have great product assortments and are very female friendly.
Here’s to wishing you total enjoyment with the selection, purchase and use of your new pleasure product!