Lecture 12: Sex Toys 101 Transcript
Lecture 12: Sex Toys 101 Transcript
Welcome back Class. We have been covering some heavy topics lately, and while they are important they are not exactly fun. So let’s take a break from that and do something fun. Today we’re going to talk about shopping for sex toys. We’re going to take a look at how to identify what you want, what materials are body safe, and how to actually get the item. If this is your first foray into toys I strongly encourage you to seek out your local adult toy store. It’s always easier to figure out what you want in person first, and then, when you know what you like, you can order online. This is the opposite of how most folks what to do, because toy stores can be embarrassing. I encourage you to go revist our first lecture together class if that’s your concern. So now the fun part. There are toys to make almost any sensation. There are toys to insert, toys to be inserted, and everyone feels different, vibrates, rotates, or thrusts, at a different speed and rhythm. It can be super overwhelming if you don’t have a good idea of what you like already. So think back to what feels good for you. A way to figure it out is to think about when you masturbate, do you focus on one small spot, or do you touch a wider area? Do you enjoy slower touches, or fast ones? Do you focus only on your genitals or do your hands roam? Do you prefer rubs or taps or squeezes? Ect. Keep that in mind while shopping. If you like focused touches a bullet vibrator is a better bet for you than a wide wand for example. If you don’t like anything inserted then a rabbit dildo with a rotating shaft won’t do anything for you, but if you Do like having something inserted then that may be a thing to explore. Start simple and inexpensive until you know what you like. There are few things more disappointing than spending a ton of money on a toy you end up hating. Notice how I said inexpensive, not cheap. Cheap is Bad. Remember this is an item you are using in or around you or your partners’ genitals, mouth, or anus. These are areas of the body that are, let’s say finicky, about materials. And for some people these areas are particularly prone to infection and irritation. So materials are important. They may cost a bit more, but safer materials are always worth it in the long run. How about we take a look at some materials and their care, pros, and cons then, shall we? Metal. Metal has a weight, both physical and mental, that few other materials can get close to. Metal is fantastic for Careful temperature play since, unlike glass, it won’t crack or shatter going from hot to cold. Just remember it holds heat well, so if you’re playing with Hot there’s a high risk of burning, be careful. Metal can also be boiled to be sterilized, making it super easy to clean. The only downside to metal is the lack of give, so if you’re not careful you can injure yourself or your partner with metal toys. Remember, in an argument between soft flesh and hard metal? Metal wins. So you want to go slow and careful and use plenty of lube. Glass. Glass is lovely. There is nothing that feels quite like glass does. It’s safe for any kind of lube since it’s a non-reactive material. It, like metal, can be boiled to sterilize post play (put it in room temp water and bring it up to temp in the pot with a towel at the bottom to keep it from touching the metal. This will reduce the risk of breaking. You can also toss it in the dishwasher on the top rack) so it’s also easy to clean. That being said I do not buy glass from independent vendors unless I’m using it for display not play. I buy only cyberglass from established brands because I know how they do quality checks. And pretty as independent glass can be, I can’t be sure of their durability. If you choose to get glass, check it before and after every use for any chips or cracks. Last thing you want is an internal cut because of a chip you didn’t look for. It also, like metal, is inflexible. With the added risk of cracking or chipping. So again, this is a toy for slow and careful play to avoid injury. Silicone. Pure silicone is good. It’s also able to be put through the dishwasher (assuming there are no electronics in it). It’s non-porous and so doesn’t hold onto bacteria. It is softer than metal or glass so it’ll hold up to more, lets say enthusiastic, use without harming you or your partner. It won’t shatter, and it comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Just be aware that silicone will melt when put in contact with other silicone objects. So if you have multiple silicone toys store them in breathable cotton bags to make sure they don’t touch each other and never Ever use silicone based lube with them. Fun fact? Cyberskin or real skin toys are also a softer kind of silicone. Just check and make sure you’re not getting a knock off where the silicone has been cut with another material. Checking this can be a bit difficult since not every toy company lists what toys are made of. So my personal rule is if no material is listed, I don’t buy it. Rubber. Rubber is harder than silicone in most cases, it’s also a bit sticker. Rubber can’t go through the dishwasher, so you’ll need to hand wash with a good toy cleaner. It won’t melt like silicone will, but it can have a strong aroma, like unto a tire. So when you first open up your toy expect that it’s going to stink and be prepared to let it air out for a while. I strongly encourage condom use with rubber insertables as rubber can cause allergic reactions in some people. No one wants their fun evening to end in the ER. Leather. Leather is an organic material, which means it is porous and mildew can grow on it. Or it can dry out and end up cracking or going stiff. If you’re going to get leather toys (cuffs, paddles, collars, gags, blindfolds, ect are what is most commonly made of leather) you need to research proper leather care. And then do it. Leather is an investment. Plastic. Plastic is porous. So you need to remember to wash it right after use and not put it away wet. Basically treat plastic like rubber. Generally you see plastic as bullet vibes or the ‘my first vibrator’ things that have the cap on the bottom that you twist to turn it on/off or put in or remove the one or two AA batteries it uses. It’s inexpensive and a good start if you have no experiance with toys. Jelly. No. For the sake of your genitals just Do Not. Jelly toys were our first attempt at more realistic feeling sex toys, they’re billed to be soft like skin and became popular in the 70s and 80s. We’ve gotten better. These have a sanitary life of roughly .03 seconds once opened, have the highest risk of causing allergic reactions, are sticky, attract lint, and are impossible to properly clean. They’re attractive because they are dirt cheap and squishy. Save your money for something better Class. About the only use of a jelly toy is if you want to explore soft packing, since it doesn’t matter if collects lint, it’s not going in anyone. Even then, if you decide you like soft packing invest in a better penis. When buying a toy it is important to make sure you know what it is made of. If it doesn’t list the materials on the package, or in the description on the website, Do Not Buy It. Toys that are body safe, and made of body safe materials, are proud of that fact and will list it in a prominent spot. Do Not Buy toys from sketchy websites *cough* wish *cough*. Less than reputable sites will just copy the material list of the item they’re knocking off, not what’s in the actual product they’re selling you. I’m going to recommend some solid starter brands and websites. I am not sponsored (sadly). So I’m not getting anything from telling you this. Doc Johnson is a solid dildo company. They’ve been in business for a good long while and are dependable. If you want glass? Icicles is the way to go. Need a masturbation sleeve? Fleshlight’s got you. They’re easy to wash, easy to customize, and you can adjust the suction while you’re using it. Njoy is the leader in metal toys, they’re well made and nickel free. Want a couple’s toy? WeVibe has some lovely designs that are discreet to use so they don’t get in the way. As for websites? I highly recommend EdenFantasys.com. They have a wide selection of toys, encourage reviews, have materials listed, let you sort by material, shows you noise levels and material safety, and their prices are middle of the road. And they run frequent sales. Babeland (formerly babes in toyland) is a fun women owned sex toy website. They run events, seminars, and have an online community where you can ask questions of other shoppers. If you’re looking to explore BDSM and kink however, they’re not the place to go as that section is either woefully understocked, or just not stocked at all. In fact their only BDSM toys are found in a section labeled “50 shades of grey” and Oh My do I have thoughts on THAT franchise. That’s another podcast though class, I’m not going on that tangent right now. Speaking of bondage toys, if that’s what you’re interested in and what to explore Extreme Restraints is the website to visit. They have everything in lovely little subcategories, since this is what they specialize in, rather than in one big ol’ kink section. This makes it both easier to find what you want, and avoid getting blind sided by toys that are firmly Not Your Kink. They have a range of price points, their products are generally reliable, and are a solid choice if you’re not in the “build it your own self crowd” So now you know what you want, know where to get it, know what to look for. That’s it right? Almost class. Now we’re going to go over care. If you want your investment toy to last there are some universal truths. It has to be cleaned, and it needs to be stored properly. I don’t mean run under water and then tossed in your sock drawer. This makes the sex toy sad, and sad sex toys are not long for this world. Invest in a good sex toy cleaner. You can get this in sprays, or tubes or dispensers like lube. Just check and follow the instructions on your particular product. For non-porous items (metal, glass, silicone) you can also run them through the dishwasher on the top rack for a sanitation cycle. If you do this, please use common sense. Don’t put your butt plug with the jewel in there, water will get under the jewel and make it cloudy/compromise the adhesive. Also never put anything with electronics in the dishwasher. If your vibrator is silicone that’s wonderful, don’t kill the motor with your dishwasher. Storage depends on the item. All insertable toys can be stored in a cotton bag and either hung from the drawstring for vertical storage or (after they’re in the bag) stored in a drawer or chest. Make sure you remove any batteries prior to storage to make sure they don’t burst in the toy, since sometimes batteries can corrode and the last thing you want is a corroded battery destroying your $200 vibrator. Batteries can be kept in a plastic sandwich baggie in the same cotton bag as the toy they were last used in, just to keep them separated from their fresh and unused counterparts. I do the same with cords for rechargeable toys, just to keep them from getting tangled or lost. You can find storage bags with a quick google search for “bulk cotton bags”, or make them yourself out of handkerchiefs or quilting squares if you’d rather do that. Why do I recommend a cotton bag instead of a clear plastic one? Because cotton breathes and reduces the chance of humidity damaging your toy. If you put your toy away in a plastic bag you run a higher risk of mildew and bacterial growth on porous items (like plastic, rubber, and some life like feeling materials), and condensation and sticking on non porous ones. Plus cotton bags are easy to wash, and don’t produce lint the way felt or fleece does once you wash it. For things that can be creased and damaged, like crops, floggers, leather paddles, and latex or vinyl garments, the best method of storage is hanging up. If you’re worried about them being seen if someone opens your closet hang them in opaque garment bags. You can use S hooks on regular hangers to hang multiple toys in one bag, and you can get opaque plastic garment bags at the dollar store. Soft restraint and rope storage are simple. Some folks will properly coil their rope and then hang it on a hook, others will toss the coils in a chest or drawer. Rope is forgiving so long as it’s coiled first. Skip coiling and your rope will be an unholy tangled mess next time you want to use it. Don’t knot restraints together! It may seem easier to just knot a bunch of scarves together so you don’t lose them, but this turns them into a wrinkled sad mess. I suggest you lay them out, one on top of the other, and roll them together. Then put a tie around this bundle to keep it from unrolling, and store it upright (so it looks like a cinnamon roll). This keeps them together, keeps them neat, and saves you from weird knot based wrinkles. Hard restraints, like cuffs, spreader bars, ect, need to be stored according to size and what it is. Cuffs are fine to just toss in your toy chest, but multiple metal items should not be tossed naked in the same box with other hard items to avoid them getting nicked or dinged. Spreader bars and chains should really be hung up as well to avoid them rolling around or banging into other toys while you’re looking for something specific. You can also use bubble wrap and rubber bands to store multiple metal objects in one spot. Just wrap ‘em in bubble wap and then put rubber bands around it to keep it on. You can also, for odd shaped things like handcuffs, get the padded envelopes meant for shipping small items from the post office and just not seal the flap. Glass gives you options. Because glass is super pretty I just leave it out on a shelf in my bedroom. However not everyone wants their collection displayed, if that’s the case then you have a few options. You can store it in padded envelopes or bubble wrap, you can keep it in the box it came in, you can hang them in cotton or velvet bags, or you can roll them up in cloth to cushion them. The one thing you want to avoid is having them free rolling around in a chest that you’ll riffle through for other toys. The more they get banged around against other things the more likely they are to chip or crack. And if you’re not displaying them then a chip or a crack means throwing out the piece you spent some money on. Which is just sad. So there you have it Class, a brief introduction to toys. In the future we’ll discuss specific toy options and what to look for in those instances. This was mostly sex toy shopping 101. Until next time, have fun and stay safe.