Having sex, it is said, improves your wellbeing and overall health. Introducing novelties like sex toys is one way to prevent staleness from slipping into your relationship. It can also inject a bit of fun and excitement into your life.
But, don’t misunderstand us – toys in the bedroom should be an add-on, not a replacement for a close and loving relationship. Talking about what you like or what works is key to your mutual pleasure. Clinical sexologists Professor Elna McIntosh, Leandri Beyers, Dr Marlene Wasserman and adult store owner Sharon Gordon give us advice on which toys are popular and how to look after your goodies.
Rechargeable and wireless remote-control toys are all the buzz right now. These include a variety of vibrators that can be used with apps. Beware, these don’t come cheap. But blindfolds, furry handcuffs and lubrication will always be on the list as they are old favourites.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s hot right now:
This tiny vibrator is inserted right into the vagina or anus. It’s about the size of a fat thumb – it allows you to move around the clit and place it exactly where you want the vibrations to be. The clit is said to be very sensitive and most women enjoy stimulation on that area, or just above it.
Rechargeable and remote-controlled with adjustable vibrations, some even match the beat of your music. Some are water-proof to use in the shower
Lube is mostly used for women with low interest in sexual intimacy or those who have sluggish or no orgasms. Placing a drop of clinically-tested stimulants on to your clitoral area, enlarges and lubricates and awakens sexual interest.
Toys for games
Covering your lover’s sight will help improve confidence and allow you to explore by giving a go-ahead to try activities they may be reluctant to. Blindfolds increase the sense of sexual anticipation and uplifts lovemaking to feel more erotic.
The handcuffs are fun toys made of metal and fur lined for comfort. They give way for role-playing and as a finishing touch to your costume. The cuffs are safe to use as they have two keys and an emergency release bar.
Best place to shop for your toys Online is safer and discreet and can be done at your leisure. You’d be able to do a quick search of what each toy looks like and get instant tips on how to use your new treats without pressure from a shop assistant. “Most of my clients are either ashamed or very private when it comes to buying sex toys. I therefore recommend using an online store, where delivery is private and discreet,” Beyers says. So, wait until the kids are fast asleep, get a glass of wine, open your laptop and start browsing!
Health and safety concerns
Gordon says sex toys are safer than most people because they’re only used by you, and you know exactly where it’s been. “In terms of psychological sexual health, what’s mostly looked at is what makes a healthy relationship with yourself and your partner. To experience sexual pleasure you need to know your body and be attuned to your needs as an individual while connecting with your partner,” Beyers adds. She says toys can assist with self-exploration and additional pleasure in your sexual relationship, while creating a safe yet playful environment.
It should not be seen as substituting a partner, which can create false expectations if compared.
Care and Maintain your toys
Ensure your goodies are clean and stored correctly so they can last a long time. Here are the popular toy materials, and tips on how to look after them:
Silicone: Run it through the dishwasher, or boil it on the stove for 5 minutes.
Jellies: Clean using a mild soap and hot water.
Rubber: Rubber dildos should always be covered with condoms. Clean the dildo with mild soap and hot water.
Cyberskin: Disinfect by putting alcohol onto a cloth and lightly rub. Avoid soap or harsh detergents. Our experts also suggest these steps to look after your toys:
Wash your toys directly before and after use. Use a mild soap, or a special cleanser available at most sex shops. Stay away from strong detergents as they will break down the material of your dildos.
Dab your toys with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect them. These are also available at the shop.
Never, ever submerge an electrical vibrator in water.
If your toy is not waterproof, give it a ‘sponge bath’ using a soapy wet cloth.
Dry everything thoroughly. Most germs cannot live on a dry surface.