Sex Toys Explained

Sex Toys Explained

from massagers and wands, to oral sex simulators – welcome to your pleasure guide

Whatever your gender, sexuality or anatomy, we can pretty much guarantee there’s a sex toy out there for you. Whether you love the intensity of a buzzing vibe, the fullness of a dildo or the suction of a sonic – it’s all down to pleasure preference. But with so many sex toys out there (like, a gazillion) where do you even start? In our handy guide below, we’ve laid out the basics.

Vibrators

Vibrators are sex toys that, simply, vibrate! Back in the 00s they all looked like penises, but the world of kink has moved on. These buzzing masturbation tools now come in all sorts of shapes and sizes with a whole range of power settings, from super-gentle to turbo-charged. Think bullets, rabbits, G-spot vibrators, hands-free and wearable vibes, eggs, wands, and even palm vibrators shaped like smooth massage stones.

Rocks Off Crimson Kiss Bullet Vibrator – £15.99

They can be used externally on the clitoris (probably the most common place), internally in the vagina or for anal play. So why are they so popular? Well, the vibrating sensation awakens the nerve endings, making it one of the easiest ways to orgasm.

Try Dame’s versatile vibrator, Fin, for some electric finger fun or invest in a long, smooth rocket like the Blush Novelties Nude Impressions Vibe, which doubles up as a strap-on.

Dame Products Fin Vibrator – £58

Massagers

Now *technically* massagers – also known as wands – count as vibes, but we’ve singled them out because of the way they stimulate the erogenous zones. While most vibrators focus all their whizzing power on one specific target, these larger toys penetrate entire areas resulting in a different kind of climax altogether.

How? First up, they tend to vibrate at a lower frequency, meaning the sensation feels more like a rumble rather than a buzz. Second up, these old-school designs are usually shaped like microphones – soft, rounded tips, sometimes as big as tennis balls, supported by long, tapered handles – which literally massage whole sections of skin (think of all those hidden nerve endings in your clit!)

Try Svakom’s Mini Emma for a modern twist on the massager. Its flexi-head will stimulate you in all directions.

Svakom’s Mini Emma – £54.99

Dildos

Dildos are sex toys that don’t vibrate. They essentially mimic an erect penis and are made for penetration during masturbation – or with a partner if you want to get spicy with a strap-on. The main deciding factors when shopping for one? Length, girth and feel. From long and thin to short and thick, silicone to glass, smooth to textured, there are so many options to try.

This might not be the best option if you find it hard to climax through penetration alone, but dildos can feel great as part of a blended orgasm. That being said, if your G-spot is your best friend, they will change your solo sex life forever. Don’t forgot: all dildos can be used inside the vagina, but only some are safe for anal penetration. Look out for ones that have a flared base to stop them slipping up your butt!

Try the Blush Novelties Nude Ergo, which features an amazing suction cup for shower fun. Plus, it’s harness compatible.

Blush Novelties Nude Ergo – £25.99

Clit suction toys

Oral sex toys haven’t been on the scene that long, but they’ve already caused a storm among sex experts – not to mention countless orgasms. Unlike vibes and massagers, these sonic babies are all about suction instead of vibration, and work by creating airwaves around the clit that suck it upwards. Basically, they mimic the feeling of someone eating you out really damn well.

Most of the designs have heads like small mouths which engulf the clit and do the work for you. Literally, some of them you don’t even have to move. The feeling? Apparently it’s like a sex angel sucking out an orgasm from your very core. So if clit-stim is your failsafe way to climax, this sounds like the one for you.

Try Lelo’s best-selling Sona – a sleek design that stimulates 75% more of your clit and gets you there quickly.

Lelo Sona – was £119, now £63!

Sex toys are a fun addition to any sex life. Whether it’s for some alone time or with a partner(s), don’t be afraid to mix things up a little bit and try something new!

Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb 

Nude Ergo feature photo


Why can't I orgasm?


Why can’t I orgasm?

From sex-ed to self-care, there are plenty reasons why

Find yourself faking orgasms because you can’t seem to reach that famous mind-blowing moment? You’re not alone. Multiple studies have found that roughly 80 per cent of women can’t orgasm through penetrative sex – at least not without a toy, finger or tongue. First things first: stimulate your clit in every which way to try and release that magical feeling.

If you’re not sure where to start, read our last blog gal pal’s guide to mind blowing masturbation for some great tips on how to achieve orgasm.. Getting to know yourself and your body is key to learning how to enjoy yourself during masturbation and sex – so it’s definitely worth a read.

However, if you already know that clit-stimulation doesn’t work, you could be one of the 10 to 15 per cent of women who can’t climax at all. And while orgasms shouldn’t always be the sole focus of sex – enjoyment comes in all kinds of forms, from human closeness to pleasurable touch – it’s super-frustrating when you’re struggling to find an end game at all.

So how come some women live in an orgasm-less void? Here, we explore a few of the reasons why it can be pretty damn hard to climax.

Body

Ever heard of orgasmic dysfunction? It affects about one in three women to some extent. It means you are either having less frequent or less satisfying orgasms despite being ~in the mood~, or you aren’t having any orgasms at all. There are tons of things that can cause it, from hormones and illness to anxiety, which makes it tricky to treat. A study found that 24 per cent of the women suffering from orgasmic dysfunction have something called anorgasmia – difficulty achieving climax after ample sexual stimulation. So if you can’t reach the big O, it’s worth booking in some time with your GP to speak about why this might be.

Mind

Find it difficult to focus? Becoming distracted during sex and masturbation is another common reason why some women struggle to come. It could be that you’re self-conscious of your body, uninterested in your partner or just tuning out of the whole encounter because you believe it will bring you zero pleasure. The fact is, if your mind isn’t in it, your erogenous zones certainly won’t be. Your brain is a crucial part of sexual experience as it releases feel-good chemicals into the body, plus it actually catalogues your sensations. Not being tuned in to someone else’s touch lessens your pleasure, stat. Try meditation tactics to re-centre yourself such as focusing on being present in the moment and taking deep breaths from the pit of your stomach.

Foreplay

Don’t let your sex-mate skip the foreplay, not matter how keen they are to pleasure themselves. Remember: you are equal partners in this experience so don’t sacrifice your own O because you’re not sure it’s even possible. Sexoligists claim that most women need approx. 20 minutes of arousal time to reach that sweet point in which it’s even viable to climax. If there’s two of you, that’s 40 minutes of foreplay, no orgasms guaranteed. Turns out it’s all about time, care and attention, so demand it, because you deserve it. And if it doesn’t happen, at least you’ve gained some sexual balance.

Lube

You know the saying, ‘the wetter, the better’? Turns out it’s all kinds of true because roughly 40 per cent of women don’t produce enough of their own natural lube to find sex pleasurable. In fact the wrong combo of condoms, emotions and hormones can snatch your juice and leave you even dryer than when you started. It’s definitely worth giving lube a serious go – it could be the key to your first ever O! We stock Yes Lube – a silky water or oil-based lubricant that’s good for your body as well as your orgasm count (it’s vegan-friendly and organic, too). The wetter you are down below, the more sensitive you feel. It also helps toys and fingers glide over your hotspots with no uncomfortable friction.

Meds

It’s important to note that some medications – particularly those used to treat depression and anxiety (SSRIs) – can lesson arousal as they impact sex hormones. This could be why you’re suddenly having a dry spell or finding yourself unable to orgasm when it wasn’t a problem before. The best thing to do? Speak to your doctor. They can run through the side effects and, if the meds are affecting your orgasms, suggest some other avenues that might not crush your climax ability completely.

Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb



gal pal's guide to mind-blowing masturbation

gal pal’s guide to mind-blowing masturbation

Follow our solo sex tips for better play time

Keen to take your masturbation game up a notch? Whether you want to explore your body on a deeper level, improve your technique or give yourself your first ever orgasm, there are plenty of ways to satisfy yourself through solo sex.

But where to start? Despite recent research proving that many women enjoy private play just as much as men, it’s something we rarely talk about. A crazy notion considering that masturbation is not only great for sexual wellbeing, confidence and overall happiness but a crucial way to figure out what you like in the bedroom.

So if you’re lucky enough to know exactly what causes you to climax but want to discover more of those untapped sweetspots, or you’re not even sure where to start, follow gal pal’s tips to make the most of your steamy downtime.

Learn

Kickstart your next self-exploration session with an open mind. Forget how you’ve masturbated in the past, this time set off with a clean slate and focus on learning what you really like. Does your body respond to tickling, teasing, rubbing, stroking, pinching, twisting? Are you into anal play, penetration or clit stimulation (or all three)? What movements cause your stomach to swirl with pleasure? Is it side-to-side sweeps of the clit, come hither motions of the G-spot or a feeling of fullness in your butt?

The point is different people like different moves, locations and pressures – remember, sexual experiences are always unique – so take time to work out what gets you going and don’t be afraid to explore the places you’ve never been before.

Lube

There tends to be two camps when it comes to lube, people that are seriously into it and people that think it’s only to combat dryness. Newsflash: there’s no shame in whipping out the wet stuff. It can actually turn your pleasure sensors up to the max. Lube enhances sensations down below and allows a silky, frictionless glide that, frankly, feels amazing. If you’re a lube virgin, let it change your life.

We looked far and wide for the best lube to include on our website, and found ‘Yes Lube (vegan & organic)’ which uses pure plant gums to replace the usual glycerine or silicone ingredient base – avoiding all concerning chemical ingredients.

Water-based lube is a must for use with most sex toys. It won’t stain your bed sheets or warp your favourite vibrator and is condom safe too! Oil-based lube has a thicker consistency to water-based lube – making it more suitable for anal sex or for use underwater. We should point out that oil-based lubes are not suitable for use with condoms; however the Yes oil-based lube does double as a massage oil, and is good for your skin too – so no need to wash off!

Lube is definitely worth a try if you haven’t already – it could be the key to unlocking that next level of sexual pleasure!

Edge

If you haven’t already tried this tease technique, now is the time. ‘Edging’ is basically when you bring yourself to the brink of an orgasm but don’t let yourself climax. It’s tricky to exercise the self-control this tactic needs at first but trust us when we say it’s worth it. The sex trick intensifies orgasms, makes them last longer, and causes them to feel SO much sweeter when they finally explode inside you.

So lube up, get to know your ‘stop spot’ by experimenting with fingers and toys then halt right just before you tip over the edge. Repeat the process three or four times – or until you just can’t take it any longer – then let yourself go. You’ll notice stronger sensations almost instantly.

Shop

Sex toys can really turbocharge an orgasm so it’s definitely worth investing in a few – there’s nothing quite like the pressure of a rumbling vibrator in the place that makes your legs weak. Designed for both external and internal stimulation, gal pal has a thrilling selection to explore.

If awakening your clit is top of your solo sex list, try Lelo’s Ora II – a toy that rotates and pulsates, like a tongue, but better. Or Svakom’s Mini Emma – a waterproof wand massager that will bring you climax after climax thanks to its strong vibrating head. Try LovingJoy’s Versa vibrator if you want to embark on the hunt for your G-spot (it bends to your will so can reach those untapped areas) or strengthen those orgasms with a pair of Blush Novelties Double O Kegel Balls.


Lelo Ora II

Explore

Once you’ve found your sexual hotspots and the toys or techniques that arouse them, try heightening the whole experience. Set the scene with some candles, a soft blanket and a sexy playlist to get your juices flowing (there are tons ready to go on Spotify if you need some inspiration). The right mood can really help your mind switch off, which makes focusing on your body so much easier. The more your relax and zone in on how things feel, the more intense your pleasure will be.

Also, don’t forget to try different positions. Switch from your back to your front, try spreading your legs wide, go on your side, flip over to doggy – the position can change the way you touch yourself so it’s worth experimenting with that too.

Remember, there are no rules when it comes to masturbation. Just keep on exploring to find what rocks your world, because everyone deserves earth-shattering orgasms.

Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb


Why Sex Toys Should Never Be Taboo

Why sex toys should never be taboo

because getting yourself off is the best

It’s a fact that masturbation is good for you. It releases the brain’s ‘happy hormones’, reduces stress and boosts sexual confidence, all while leaving your body rippling with pleasure. Some studies claim it even betters your immune system. So if you don’t already make time for ‘me time’ and own a proud collection of sex toys, now’s the time to start.

From vibrators and dildos, to bullets and beyond, orgasm-inducing products are pretty much the best way to get to know yourself. They help you learn the erogenous zones that spike your arousal, the types of touch that turn you on, the amount of pressure you like – and that’s just the tip of the erotic iceberg. There are movements, directions, textures and timings to play with, too.

“Sex toys are a great way to explore your body and what it enjoys,”

says psychosexual and relationship therapist Aoife Drury. “The process of understanding how you can bring your body pleasure is an incredibly empowering experience, and toys allow you to uncover a lot more than your fingers do.”

The good news for us (and our orgasms) is that the sex toy industry has made much-needed progress in recent years. Vibrators are sliding off the top shelves and out of the backstreet shops into the mainstream, shedding their previous shame. But Aoife explains that some parts of society still need to play catch-up.

“There’s the belief that using a sex toy means your partner isn’t a good enough lover. But perhaps, more than anything, there is poor sex education. The vulva and vagina are complex and intrinsic pieces of anatomy, so education surrounding the pleasurable aspects can be left out – dare I say avoided. This lack of knowledge leads to misunderstanding, bias and stigma.”

Thankfully, a new wave of women are challenging outdated myths and clueing themselves up on what pleasure means to them. The result? Really amazing experiences with sex toys. The benefits aren’t just limited to solo use either, they can be a great way to bring some spice into an already existing relationship.

“Sex toys present novel ways of being intimate. They can facilitate a wider way of connecting sexually. They also can provide some fun and excitement that may be different and fresh,” reveals Aoife.

Want in? We don’t blame you. We’ve got some of the world’s best sex toys right here, ready and waiting to give you the best wanks of your life. Just remember not to spring a monster vibrator on your partner without having a chat about consent first.

“Always have an open, honest and sober conversation. If you decide to bring toys in, bring them in together. Try to make it a fun and connecting experience and make sure that you are both enjoying them.”

And if you’re not sure where to kickoff your sensual adventure?

“Don’t overwhelm yourself. A basic toy, like a wand or a bullet, is the easiest way to begin. See how you feel, find out what you like and what you don’t. And don’t worry about whether you’re doing it the ‘right way’, start by just doing what feels good!”

Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb