FAQ

 

You can find more answers to various questions via my feature, Ask Piph, and on my Tumblr.

If you’re new to my blog and just want some help exploring, click here.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Email me at hey.epiphora [at] gmail [dot] com or use my contact form.

Specific sex toy suggestions:

What does your name mean and how do you pronounce it?

Epiphora business cardsI pronounce it eh-PIF-er-uh, like this creeper. Several outsiders have incorrectly pronounced it ep-i-FOR-a, with an emphasis on the FOR. Just remember that the emphasis is on the PIF, as in “Ask Piph.”

The word Epiphora has many meanings, but I chose it for its literary definition, which is “the repetition of the same words at the end of successive phrases.” Mostly I just thought it was a pretty word, and I like the letter E. Only later did I learn that it also means “the excessive production of tears,” and that there are both a fungus and a moth named Epiphora.

Readers and friends have come up with much cooler reasons for my name. Someone once told me that they thought I named myself Epiphora because my posts are so funny that they’ll make you cry. Another person found a definition of epiphora in the book Eros the Bittersweet that I absolutely love, and that I have stolen as though it was what I meant in the first place: “a change or shift of distance bringing two heterogeneous things close to reveal their kinship.”

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How did you get your start?

My reviewing of sex toys began in 2007. I was stupidly inexperienced with sex toys and only owned one, the Turbo Glider, but when I saw an opportunity to get free toys in exchange for writing reviews for an online sex toy shop, I was all over that shit. I’ve always loved writing, masturbating, and voicing my opinion, so it made sense. All I needed to do was learn more about the sex toy industry, so I devoured information about it along the way.

In 2008, I launched this blog — and have been rabidly collecting and reviewing sex toys here ever since.

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How many toys do you own? How do you clean and store them?

My top drawer. The best.My very rough estimate is 400. I have a spreadsheet listing all of them, but it also lists porn DVDs and toys that I used to own but have since given away.

I store most of my toys in plastic drawers, as you can see here. Even my chargers and lube are tucked away in drawers!

As far as cleaning goes, I take the cheap route: dish soap and water. I froth them under the kitchen sink, scrub with an old toothbrush (or my fingers) in the nooks and crannies, rinse, and set them on a paper towel to dry. Sometimes I dry them immediately with a paper towel if I need to put them away right then. I don’t really see the point of sex toy cleaning spray, but then again I don’t have to worry about leaving my gunky sex toys on the kitchen counter, either.

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How many times do you test a toy before you review it?

It really varies, but I’d say at least five times. I take notes and work on my review as I go along. Sometimes I’ll be finishing my review and realize there’s some other way I didn’t test the toy yet, so I’ll have to go do that. But usually I know when I’ve used the toy enough times to fully understand my feelings about it.

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What are your favorite toys / lube?

Tantus Splash, a well-read dildoAll my favorites are marked with heart icons on my toybox page. My favorite clitoral vibes are the EroscillatorWahlVibratex Mystic WandLeaf LifeWe-Vibe Touch, and LELO Mia. I also love (to the point of thinking everyone with a clitoris should own) the LELO Mona 2, which can be either a clit toy or an insertable.

My favorite dildos are the Vixen Creations Maverick, njoy Pure WandNobEssence Seduction, Jopen Key Comet G WandTantus Cush O2Crystal Delights Star DelightVixen Creations RandyTantus SplashCrystal Delights TwistVixen Creations Mustang, and Whipspider Rubberworks Jellyfish.

The only vibrating insertables I’ve ever liked were the LELO Mona 2Fun Factory Big Boss, and Papaya Toys Candy Stick. The Fun Factory Stronic Eins doesn’t vibrate, but it THRUSTS, and I fucking adore it.

My favorite butt plugs are the NobEssence Romp, njoy Pure PlugFun Factory Bootie, and Tantus Ryder.

My favorite other items are the LELO Luna Beads, Liberator Throe, and Spareparts Hardwear Joque harness. My boyfriend loves his Fleshlight. I don’t review lube because I don’t think I’m very perceptive about it, but I’m a hardcore Sliquid fanatic because all their stuff is glycerin- and paraben-free.

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What are your favorite G-spot toys?

NobEssence SeductionI find that a lot of toys, as long as they have a curve or pronounced head, hit my G-spot nowadays. But I particularly love my Vixen Creations Maverick, njoy Pure WandNobEssence Seduction, Jopen Key Comet G Wand, Fun Factory Stronic EinsVixen Creations Randy, Crystal Delights Twist, and LELO Mona 2.

It just depends on what kind of sensation I’m in the mood for. Maverick is squishy and huge, great for filled-up thrusting. The Pure Wand is a G-spotting god, but I actually tend to prefer the Seduction because its stimulation is even more intense. Fun Factory Stronic Eins if I want to be lazy and let the toy thrust for me. Randy is a beast. The Twist offers the most unique sensation, as I actually do “twist” it against my G-spot. If I want vibrations on my G-spot, I’ll pick up my Mona 2. The Jollet is good for stationary or hands-free G-spot stimulation.

If I want to squirt, the Pure WandJopen Key Comet G Wand, or Randy will do it, although a lot of things can as long as I thrust fast enough with them.

These are my personal favorites, though. If you’re just starting out on your G-spot journey, my suggestion would be the Tantus CometVixen Creations Mustang or Woody, Tantus Acute, Pleasure Works SirenLELO Ella, Doc Johnson Thinny MinnieTantus Rocket, or a glass toy with a curved head, like this one or this one.

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What is the worst toy you’ve ever tried?

Taffy Tickler Silicone SweetsI don’t know, maybe the one that felt like it was scraping my insides? The one that felt like a terrible speculum? The one that made me embarassed to have even tried it? The one that poked my ass, or the one that clogged my vagina? The one that made me feel like I pooped my pants? It’s hard to say, but I also have a special hate for vibes that are way too weak or ridiculously overpriced.

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What does your boyfriend think of all of this, you trollop?

We’ve been together for 9 years, so I started reviewing a couple years into our relationship. He has never been weird about toys at all, and if he was, we’d have a problem. I have very little tolerance for people who not only feel threatened by toys, but don’t understand the benefit of them. Jealousy is ugly — even more so when you’re jealous of something that brings your partner pleasure. And uh, sex toys are objects; people are people. If you’re too dense to get that, I don’t want to know you.

I try to convince my boyfriend to try more toys made for penises, but it’s like pulling teeth.

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What is that-one-toy in your header?

I’m glad you asked! I’ve written a legend for my header to satisfy your curiosity.

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How can I get into reviewing?

Check out my in-depth beginner’s guide to sex toy reviewing and blogging, and don’t forget to read my 15 rules for writing a sex toy review that doesn’t royally suck!

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Which companies should I buy from (and NOT buy from)?

Check out my buy toys page for the places I support. Behold my Shit List for those that you should avoid.

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Should I buy sex toys on Amazon?

Maybe. I generally advise people against buying on Amazon unless they must, because sex toy boutiques are doing such good work out there in the world (P.S. I work at one) and they deserve your support. Also, if you want to support me as a person who perhaps informed you about the glory of the Mona 2 or Fun Factory Stronic Eins, Amazon gives me the lowest commission rate. Like, if you buy the Mona 2 directly from LELO or from Babeland, I get about $28. If you buy the Mona 2 on Amazon, I get less than $10.

I will say this about Amazon: if the price of a toy seems too good to be true — someone’s being undercut. Whether your moral compass allows you to care about this is another story.

I’ve also heard rumblings about some companies not honoring warranties for toys purchased on Amazon. This will depend entirely on the company.

I’ve reached out to some manufacturers, and nobody is very happy about the way things are sold on Amazon. Robin Stewart, the brand manager at Jopen, explained:

We instituted MAP pricing about a year ago, and it has been a very “rough road” to travel down. We do not sell JOPEN products to Amazon, and we limited our distribution to only five (5) distributors in the US. The goal was to license retailers. Part of the license agreement requires MAP pricing. As you noted, the products are out there at low prices. How do they do it? A licensed retailer is supplying Amazon, the resellers who sell on Amazon, and we or our distributor have not figured out who is selling who. It’s a “grey market” movement of the goods, and each distributor is probably servicing a legitimate retailer, who is in turn supplying Amazon. We are not happy about this and neither are mainstream markets . . . if you shop Amazon, it is not just us, it’s everyone getting discounted… in adult as well as mainstream products.

Honestly, I don’t blame you too terribly much if you decide to go with Amazon. I know how money is. I know how expensive good sex toys can be. But it is a bit of a gamble, and not really the best choice for most people involved.

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When I buy a sex toy online, will it be shipped discreetly?

Yes, all reputable online sex shops ship and bill discreetly. Just check the FAQ or shipping info page on the site you want to purchase from (some examples: GoodVibes, Babeland, SheVibe, and my favorite, Early to Bed). Your order will come in a plain brown box with an inconspicuous return address. The only exceptions are when you purchase from a shitty online sex shop (like Adam & Eve, who are known for sending follow-up junk mail) or if you purchase something that has to go through customs, and thus must be described on the box (but even then, it’ll usually say “massager” or something).

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If I use vibrators, am I going to become desensitized or numb? Can I become addicted to sex toys? WHAT IF I CAN’T GET OFF WITH MY FINGERS? AM I RUINED?

Hitachi Magic Wand OriginalShort answer: no.

Long answer: as with many things, we can become accustomed to things over time. That applies to sex and masturbation as well. You can fall into a routine with your sex toys just as you can fall into a routine with a partner (the same foreplay, same positions, etc). Our bodies actually grow nerve pathways in response to stimulation. So with repetition, your body will come to expect certain triggers in order to orgasm. But these triggers can always be re-established by switching things up.

Yes, if you only ever have orgasms with vibrators, it will probably become more difficult to orgasm with your fingers. That doesn’t mean you can’t orgasm using your fingers (unless you’ve never been able to, which is also totally fine), but simply that you’re out of practice.

Physically, vibrators cannot permanently numb you or damage your tissue or nerves. The only actual “desensitization” that you can ever experience with a vibrator is temporary. Just as your hand will become numb if you hold a really strong vibrator against it, so will your vulva. This happens when nerve endings become fatigued. It’s harmless, and once the vibration ceases, sensation will return fairly quickly as blood returns to the genitals.

So, if you use the Hitachi Magic Wand every day for months, then yes, it will become difficult to orgasm with something weaker. But you can ALWAYS re-train your body. If you want to.

In general, though, can we stop with the endless fingers vs. vibrators debate? I’ve barely brought myself to orgasm with my fingers since, like, high school, AND I TURNED OUT FINE. Really, though… it’s a lot of unnecessary worrying. If you get off with something, hooray! Celebrate! Keep doing it! There is no hierarchy of pleasure which places fingers at the top. Come on, they are ancient compared to the vibrator technologies we have now.

Another thing people worry about unnecessarily is whether dildos (especially large ones) will make them “loose.” Again, no. Read up on vaginal elasticity. Vaginas are made to birth babies and then snap back, you guys. They can deal with dildos.

I take issue with the word “addiction” as well. Most clinical definitions of “addiction” characterize it as something harmful and compulsive. There is nothing harmful about using a sex toy. While it is possible for a person to become obsessed with any object or behavior, there is nothing about vibrators in particular that evokes this kind of attachment. Honestly, I think this rumor has been circulated by insecure men who think their almighty penises will be “replaced” by sex toys.

There is something else I would like to address in answering this question. It seems like the underlying reason this question comes up all the time is because people are worried about sex with a partner. They’re worried they won’t be able to have an orgasm during sex without a vibrator. Yo, world, it’s okay to use vibrators during sex! If that is what you need to get off, fucking take charge and make it happen. If your partner bellyaches about it, then I guess they don’t want you to have orgasms and you should probably dump them.

Seriously, though, watch Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and get some great suggestions for incorporating vibrators into partnered sex.

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How do I know if a sex toy is toxic?

Melting and oily toxic toys, photo via CATTWell, there’s no easy way, because the sex toy industry is unregulated and companies can produce things and label them however they want. Horror stories abound of toxic toys causing irritation, burning, rashes, and more. Toxic toys can off-gas, leaching oils and smells, and they can melt and degrade over time. Here’s a good recent article about toxic toys, and here are a couple older ones. Phthalates, a class of chemicals used to soften plastics, tend to be the culprit a lot of the time, but there are other things to worry about too.

You can do a flame test to determine if something is silicone, but it’s not as reliable as we’d all hope. There is one pretty surefire way to know: if the toy is soft and smells like a new shower curtain, it’s likely toxic.

But it’s really a matter of trusting certain companies over others. Certain companies use specialty materials, like glass (Crystal DelightsFucking SculpturesLuxotiq), wood (NobEssence), and stainless steel (njoy), and those are all a-OK. Some companies utilize a lot of hard plastic, and those are fine too (AnerosBswishEvolved NoveltiesVibratex).

These are the companies that use 100% pure silicone exclusively and make things without motors: TantusVixen CreationsBS is NiceJollies / Chavez Dezignz, and Vamp. Then, these vibrator makers have committed to body-safe materials only: CraveFun Factory, Je JoueJimmyjaneJopenLeafLELOMinnaOhMiBodPicoBongTickler, and We-Vibe.

The companies you have to worry about are the big ones: California Exotic NoveltiesNasstoysTopcoPipedream, and Doc Johnson. These companies tend to also make some body-safe products, but they are old school and still churn out tons of crap.

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What are your tips for traveling with sex toys?

LELO Mona 2 and other things being packedContrary to your worst fears and a few unfortunate horror stories, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) doesn’t really give a fuck about sex toys. Whatever you bring, they’ve probably seen it before. However, that won’t stop them from being hardasses and thinking everything’s a potential weapon or bomb.

There are pros and cons to both carry-ons and checked baggage. Carry-ons won’t ever get lost, but they can be searched in front of your fellow passengers. Checked baggage is searched more discreetly, but can sometimes get lost… or return to you with your toy stolen. If you opt to put your stuff in your checked baggage, be sure to label it so the TSA won’t feel the need to disassemble it. Don’t put it in something that can’t be opened; that’s just asking for trouble.

If you pack your toys in your carry-on, put them in plastic bags just in case a TSA agent decides to fondle them. ALWAYS remove batteries from your battery-operated toys. If your rechargeable toy has a travel lock function, use it! If not, you’ll need to drain the toy’s battery completely before travel. Buzzing vibrators notoriously make people think of bombs, and you do not want to be that person.

Dildos are an awkward thing for carry-ons. According to the TSA, “tools” less than 7 inches in length are allowed. However, if the item is “club-like” or can be mistaken as a weapon, it’s not allowed. So use common sense on that one.

Also, be sure to follow the 3-1-1 rule when packing lube in a carry-on. I like to buy a small plastic container (like one with hand sanitizer in it), wash it out, and fill it with my favorite lube. Otherwise, just pack lube samples, or stick your lube in your checked baggage (after taping it shut like a fiend).

Your best defense, though, is having a positive and nonchalant attitude. Some people may be embarrassed by sex toys, but you don’t have to be. Try not to be nervous, and if an agent questions you about one of your toys, don’t dodge the question — just calmly explain what it is.

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What are your favorite porn movies and pornstars?

My favorite performers are Sasha Grey, James DeenKimberly Kane, Danny Wylde, Belladonna, Joanna Angel, Christian, Tori Black, Evan Stone, Amber Rayne, Billy Castro, Sinn Sage, Derrick Pierce, Sean Michaels, Bobbi Starr, Roxy Deville, Wolf Hudson, Dylan Ryan, and Sinnamon Love.

I don’t tend to watch movies in full unless I have to review them, but my favorites would be My Own MasterRough SexBelladonna’s Strapped Dykes, Live In My Secrets, and all volumes of Tristan Taormino’s Chemistry series. Out of the things I haven’t reviewed, I seem to recall enjoying Belladonna: Sexual ExplorerMorphineShut Up and FuckJoanna Angel and James Deen’s European VacationFrisk Me, Beautiful Stranger, Wasteland, and Tori Black is Pretty Filthy 2.

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Why do you hate pink so much?

Because reasons.

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I’ve never owned a sex toy or have owned all shitty ones. What would you suggest?

LELO Mia 2It’s difficult to recommend something without knowing more about what someone is looking for. But generally you are going to want body-safe, non-porous materials. In terms of vibrators, something with variety in the vibration strengths is good for a beginner. A nice clitoral vibe like the LELO Mia or PicoBong Ako is an excellent choice. If you can swing it, the LELO Mona 2 is amazing.

A less expensive option might be to find a fun first timer’s kit. Early to Bed has this one and this deluxe version. Good Vibes’ Wild at Heart Kit is a good choice, or Babeland’s Vibrator Starter Kit or Orgasm in a Box. You’ll notice a trend here: I’m in favor of the Silver Bullet (or something else similar) as a cheap beginner’s toy because it has a range of power and can be enhanced with softer sleeves.

As far as insertables go, get yourself something nice from a good company such as Tantus, Vixen Creations, Fun Factory, LELO, njoyCrystal Delights, or NobEssence. These companies all use tip-top materials, so the toy you choose will last you a very long time, if not forever.

If you are new to penetration, I’d suggest a dildo that is about 1.25″ in diameter or less that is made of either silicone or glass. Nothing too textured or weirdly shaped or with too drastic a curve at the tip. My choices would be the Tantus Acute, the Tantus Compact, the Tantus Silk series, the Vixen Creations Spur or Mustang (expensive, I know, but the material is AMAZING and as squishy as you can get while still being silicone), or the Vixen Mistress.

Read this question for my suggestions on beginner’s anal toys.

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How on earth do I choose a toy if I don’t know what I like?

LELO Mona 2Get a toy that is versatile! If you have a vagina, I suggest something that can function as both a G-spot vibe and a clitoral vibe, something like the LELO Mona 2 or PicoBong Moka. That way you can try it many ways: as a non-vibrating G-spotter, as a vibrating G-spotter, and as a clitoral toy. Hopefully you’d like at least one of those ways!

An option for clitoral stimulation would be a hummer type vibe, which has two sides, one pinpoint and one more diffuse. You could also get a vibe that comes with a bunch of attachments, like the Mood Flirty, a pocket rocket, or Intimate Foreplay Kit. Or, pick up a Silver Bullet and trick it out with some sleeve attachments like the Diving Dolphin or Wild Hare.

In terms of dildos, maybe something double-ended with different sensations like the LELO Ella or Rose G-Spotter. Also, I only know of one person (out of a billion) who didn’t love the Pure Wand, which is good odds.

It’ll be hard to know how you feel about different materials until you feel and experience them. If you have access to a local sex toy shop, visit it and see which items intrigue you. Figure out which ones get good reviews and go from there. You’re going to have to spend some money, but with research, you hopefully won’t waste it. The more stuff you buy, the more you’ll know what you like, so you gotta just bite the bullet!

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I’m on a budget and need an inexpensive toy. What would you suggest?

For the purpose of this answer I’m going to define inexpensive as $40 or less. Then I’ll break it down by type of toy.

P.S. SheVibe tends to have the best prices, and always check my sales & deals page to find sex toy sales. Plus, the static coupon code EPIPHORA will always get you 10% off at Lovehoney, 10% off at Early to Bed, 20% off at Chavez Dezignz, and 10% off at the Smitten Kitten.

VIBRATORS

First things first: if you want sheer power, the Wahl is the best $20 you can spend. It is not, however, ergonomic. Or subtle.

Then: get something better than a watch battery bullet, trust me. You don’t want it to take N batteries or watch batteries, and it should take more than one AA or AAA. A cheap silver bullet like this (or something else similar) is always good to have around. The PicoBong Ako is pretty rad (Moka if you want an insertable). The Turbo Glider was my amigo for quite some time (although it is loud), and after that I really loved the Xtreme Pack G-spot Bullet (and this one looks similar), until I moved on to rechargeables. I’ve heard good things about the Velvet Touch, Black Magic Bullet, Dream Massager G, and Iconic Smoothie.

The thing about cheaper vibrators is that they’re all battery-powered, and batteries mean noise and surface-level vibrations. If you can spare some extra money, get the LELO Mia ($70), which is USB rechargeable and rumbly.

DILDOS

The LELO Ella is a good choice. Pleasure Works (Good Vibes’ in-house brand) makes some affordable silicone dildos, such as the Bullseye, Your Highness, Right Spot, and Charm. You can also get some epic dildo deals in Tantus’ closeout section. Tantus is the shit and their dildos generally sell for more like $60, so these are great deals.

A lot of glass toys from the bigger companies are under $30. My suggestions there would be the Icicles #7Icicles #31, or Rainbow Mega Nubby. There’s also the $22 Galaxy G, which is made of acrylic.

Other 100% silicone dildos from bigger companies: the Sedeux Flare and Please from Sportsheets; Thinny Minnie and anything else in the Platinum line from Doc Johnson; Kona and Fiji from California Exotic. All the dildos in California Exotic’s Love Rider line, and Pipedream’s Fetish Fantasy Elite line are 100% silicone.

Also, since any vibrator can be a dildo if you don’t turn it on, Cal Exotic’s L’Amour and Couture vibrators are affordable. Evolved’s plastic vibrators are alright. The Orchid G could work for you.

ANAL TOYS

Get the Fun Factory Bootie or anything from Tantus that appeals to you. The Fuze line from Happy Valley is also affordable. The Mood plugs from Doc Johnson and Booty Call from Cal Exotics look decent.

VAGINAL / KEGEL BALLS

(Don’t hold your breath while I recount these ridic names.) Get the California Exotic L’Amour Premium Weighted Pleasure System, Couture Eclipse, Couture Eclipse II, Dr. Laura Berman Shades of Purple Anastasia’s Delight Orgasm Balls, or (if you’re overseas) the Tracey Cox Supersex Toner Balls or Bluebella Kegel Toner Balls. These are all basically the same product with very small tweaks. Because they aren’t coated in a ton of silicone, the balls on the inside are easily felt the way my loves the LELO Luna Beads are — for less than half the price. The only downfall is the obnoxiously stretchy retrieval string.

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Help! I need to pick out a sex toy gift for someone else!

Don’t even worry! I’ve written an entire guide for you.

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I want to find my G-spot / learn to squirt. Toy suggestions and tips plz!

My top picks would be the Jopen Key Comet G WandLELO Ellanjoy Pure Wand, and NobEssence Seduction, but if you’re inexperienced with toys, it might be better for you to get something smaller and less severe, like the Vixen Creations Mustang or Woody, Pleasure Works SirenTantus Comet, Doc Johnson Thinny MinnieTantus Acute, or Tantus Rocket. I’ve also heard of people having success with the glass Rose G-Spotter, and I myself first found my G-spot with a toy that merely had a pronounced head (no curve). What matters is that the toy has a pronounced or curved head, is comfortable for you, isn’t totally floppy, and is easy to thrust with.

You will absolutely want to pair this toy with a good clitoral vibe, like the Eroscillator, LELO Mona 2Vibratex Mystic WandLeaf LifeWe-Vibe Touch, or LELO Mia. Clitoral stimulation enhances G-spot stimulation greatly.

As for squirting tips, here’s a quick run-down of how I’d suggest you do  it. First prepare a nest for yourself — in a comfortable, distraction-free environment, with either the Liberator Throe or several towels under your butt. Take your time getting turned on first, even bringing yourself close to orgasm. Then, with lots o’ lube, insert your G-spot toy and start thrusting with it. Continue using the clitoral toy. Try to relax as much as possible and keep your vaginal muscles open, not clenched.  Increase your thrusting speed until you start to get the need-to-pee sensation. Keep thrusting until the feeling becomes almost overwhelming, and then THRUST SOME MORE. Hopefully, hopefully, you will squirt.

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I want to explore anal play for the first time. Suggestions?

Fun Factory Bootie

You’ll want a toy of 1″ in diameter or less and made of pure silicone.

I always recommend the Fun Factory Bootie to beginners, because I love it. It’s silicone, around $30, and very fun. But Tantus is the best purveyor of silicone butt plugs, so be sure to check their selection (and their closeout section, which has awesome deals!). They have a huge range of sizes and shapes. The MeteoriteLittle Flirt and Slim look particularly well-suited to beginners, and the Ripple Small could work if you don’t need a plug plug. (However, I think plugs are great for n00bs because they allow you to get comfortable with the sensation of something being in your ass.)

Happy Valley’s Fuze line of plugs is another good option, and those have a hole in the base for a bullet vibe.

As for lube, you’re going to want something thicker for anal, to provide cushion. And it needs to be water-based so as not to damage the toy. My favorite is Sliquid Sassy. Sliquid is amazing becauseall their lubes are glycerin and paraben free.

My tips for anal play are pretty simple: use lube, go slow, breathe, relax, and listen to your body. Oh, and go to the bathroom before using a plug!

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I want a strong vibe. What would you suggest?

You can’t go wrong with the Wahl. I also really like my LELO Mona 2 and Mystic Wand. Some of the strongest rechargeable clit vibes I’ve found have been the ones from We-Vibe: the Touch and Tango.

Rechargeables still haven’t caught up to plug-in toys in the power realm, but there’s always the Hitachi or the more adjustable Bodywand. I’ve heard good things about the PalmPower. By and large, I do not trust rechargeable wand vibes — my Acuvibe died and the LELO ones are disappointing.

The Eroscillator isn’t actually what I would call “powerful,” as it doesn’t vibrate, but it is an amazing clitoral toy that I feel I should mention constantly. Please don’t get the Rock Box.

 

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I want a gentler vibe. What would you suggest?

On the less expensive side, I would recommend any of the Tickler or Toyfriend vibes, any of the Tantus Little Secrets, any of the little vibes from PicoBong, the Fukuoku, or the Bcute. On the more expensive side, most rechargeable vibes (like the ones by LELO and Leaf) start out at a very low level when you first turn them on, which gives you some wiggle room just in case you want to move beyond the gentler settings in the future.

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I want a remote-controlled vibe that doesn’t suck. What would you suggest?

Good question, because most of them are horrible! I’ve tried several and they almost always fail miserably, usually because they have shitty range, shapes that do not match bodies, batteries that die in 5 seconds flat, or they break.

The updated LELO Lyla isn’t horrible, but many people will not find an insertable egg particularly pleasurable. You probably want the We-Vibe 4. It is not the quietest thing, but it’s about the only remote-controlled vibe that will work inside underwear and is actually pleasurable. (Caveat: I have yet to try it during sex so I have no thoughts on its “main” use.)

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I want a double-ended dildo. What would you suggest?

Tantus Feeldoe StoutI am far from an expert in this department. I don’t have any partners that I can penetrate with things, so my experience is very limited. I can, however, give you a list of all the two-person 100% silicone double-ended dildos out there and some of the objective qualities about them.

Some of these can be used without a harness, but they really do best when stabilized by one. The ones with holes for bullet vibes usually come with shitty watch battery bullets, which I suggest swapping out for a We-Vibe Tango.

Questions to ponder: what sort of shape and angle does the wearer want? The person being penetrated? Do you want vibrations? Do you want to try to go without a harness (I wish you luck)? Do you, like me, have a strong opinion about the finish on your silicone (I prefer glossy)? The squish factor?

Now, get the double-ended dildo of your dreams at SheVibe, Early to Bed, Good Vibes, Babeland, She BopLovehoney (international), or Come As You Are (Canada).

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I want a body-safe dildo with a suction cup base. What would you suggest?

Tantus Suction CupSome of Vixen’s toys have suction cup bases. These are, as far as I know: Leo, Randy, Maverick, Raquel, Mistress, Woody, and Spur. Verify these before buying, as Vixen changes their bases sometimes and I am not 100% on all of them. Maia has the Astral and Fairy. Pipedream’s Fetish Fantasy line has quite a few, but I hate Pipedream. There are a few from other manufacturers, such as Max and Cole.

Tantus toys do not have suction cup bases, but if they have a hole in the base (for a bullet vibe) you can buy the Tantus Suction Cup and turn them into suction cup dildos. The Suction Cup could potentially work for other dildos with holes in the base (like Happy Valley), but I’m not sure. For dildos with flat bases, Good Vibes makes a super cheap Double-Sided Suction Cup that can transform their bases into suction cups.

If you look outside the box, there are other options if what you want is to be able to ride your dildos. You could look into getting a Liberator shape that will hold dildos, such as the Wing. Or, you could get a thigh harness and strap it to a chair or other piece of furniture.

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