These days, the world of sex toys has become increasingly accessible. If you're looking for discretion, your new favorite toy can arrive in an inconspicuous cardboard box at your doorstep, or if you want that in-store, uh, hands-on experience, the new wave of sex toy shops are the opposite of creepy—they're known for having inviting, welcoming atmospheres; knowledgeable staff; and workshops that can help you take your sex life to the next level.
There's also been a lot of sex toy-related innovation in recent years. Lately, it seems there's a toy to fit every unique and distinct desire, kink, and and all types of different bodies mixing, melding, and getting it on.
That's why we've put together this sex toy guide for literally everyone, whether you're straight, gay, bi, queer or something else, whether trans, cis, non-binary, or somewhere far and away from the gender spectrum. As a note, some of the words we use to describe genitals and other sexy bits here may not feel right for everyone, and it's a good idea to ask your boo, your date, or your one-night stand what terms they prefer. There's something out there for everybody (and we're here to help you find it).
It wasn't until my mid-20s that I finally graduated from the drugstore brand of Astroglide to a more sophisticated lube, and let me tell you, a good lube is well worth the investment. My personal recommendation is to use a water-based lube since it works for most uses, but you may also want to check out oil or silicone-based lubes depending on your preferences.
Slippery Stuff. This is my lube of choice. They've got the balance of slickness just right, and it washes off super easily. Plus, as a water-based lube, it's safe to use with toys and condoms, and as a paraben and glycerin-free product, it won't upset your delicate balance of microflora (Read: it won't give you a yeast infection).
Foria. This company offers a line of cannabis-infused lubricants and suppositories that you can get if you're in a state where recreational or medical marijuana is legal. They have both CBD- and THC-infused products that can greatly enhance penetration and reduce pain or discomfort.
Lube shooters. These offer an easy, less messy way to get lubricant to hard-to-reach places, making penetration so much better.
Vibrators are probably the first thing you think of when it comes to sex toys. They're great for a solo session, but they're also awesome for playing with others as well.
Hitachi. The Hitachi is the gold standard of vibrators... I mean um, "back massagers." The latest models include a wireless rechargeable option so you're not constrained by how close you are to an outlet, plus they feature four intensity settings and four vibration patterns, which means if the Hitachi was too much for you before (like it was for me), you should be able to find a setting that's suitable for you now. Bonus points: You can also grab a sleeve attachment like this (which is great for people with penises), and attachments like these are available, as well.
O-Boy. This little guy is a hands-free vibrator specially designed to stimulate the prostate—and uses a bullet vibrator to offer you seven different speeds. Use it solo or with a partner!
Sex toys aren't just for masturbating—they play well with others too! The following can help you make even more magic in the bedroom:
We-Vibe. This powerful vibrator hooks to stimulate internally and externally. You can have penetrative sex with it as well, which is stimulating for both you and your partner. With the latest Plus version, you can get an app that allows your partner to control the vibrations remotely—even if they're thousands of miles away.
PicoBong Transformer Double-Ended Vibrator. The Transformer is a flexible, bendable, double-ended vibrator that can be used solo or in tons of different positions with a partner. The vibrating bulbs on either end can be used for internal and external stimulation, making the possibilities almost endless.
Feeldoe. This toy allows you to experience penetration while penetrating a partner and can be used with or without a harness. The bulb end provides intense G-spot stimulation, while the other end is a sleek dildo designed at a 45-degree angle to make penetration easier.
If you're planning to use a dildo or other toy and you want it attached to your body, you're going to want the right harness. Check these options out:
Rodeoh. They offer a wide selection of brief and boxer-style harnesses for people of all genders. I like the products because some harnesses can end up being a tangle of straps and buckles that put a halt on sexy time. With these, you just put them on like any other underwear, and you're good to go.
Spare Parts. If you dig the aesthetics of the strappy vibe, these harnesses are for you. They're well-built, sturdy, and come in a lot of varieties, including the Deuce, which allows folks with penises or external genitalia to also utilize a strap-on dildo, and the Pete, which makes packing easy for trans and non-binary folks.
Dildos are great. I mean… what more could you want than something that can penetrate you but never gets soft? (Other than a vibe, of course.)
VixSkin. This line of dildos has an incredibly realistic shape and feel due to its specially formulated silicone material. They come in a bunch of different sizes, shapes, and angles, so with a little research, you're sure to find the one that's just right for you.
Njoy. They offer a line of smooth, heavy stainless steel dildos that come in unique shapes with different beads and bulbs that treat you to different types of stimulation than your typical penis-shaped dildo.
Butt play can be for everyone! If you've got a butt and you want to put things in it—or you want other people to put things in it—I say do it!
Hisionlee's Butt Plug Kit. This is a great, inexpensive option for beginners, as it offers four silicone plugs of increasing size to help you train up. It also comes with lube and an enema bulb because, yes, you will probably want to clean things out a bit before you get to the anal stuff.
Njoy Fun Wand. For those with a little more anal experience, the Fun Wand is a nicely weighted stainless-steel dildo with smooth, graduated beads. It can be used for G-spot penetration but works especially when inserted (and withdrawn) from your butt.
Toys for Trans Folks
Trans people who were assigned female at birth (AFAB) have distinct needs when it comes to sex toys. Those who take testosterone can experience growth of the clitoris, which can reach up to two or more inches in length—while some AFAB folks happen to be naturally "well-endowed." Strap-on harnesses are great for penetration, but if you're looking for something to use on you, I recommend this one:
Shotpocket. I've used plenty of toys like this, and they're a godsend. They offer just the right suction and an amazing ribbed texture that's perfect for people like me. It feels really similar to getting a blow job, and you can use it solo or with a partner.
Trans people who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) also have unique needs and desires when it comes to sex as well, especially those who are on hormone therapy and are non- or pre-operative. Ana Valens had nothing but rave reviews for this vibrator:
Le Wand. This vibrator is an improvement on the Hitachi, as it was designed as a sex toy, not just used as one by clever opportunists. Le Wand has a soft silicone tip, ten different intensity settings, and 20 vibration patterns that bring the deep vibrations you need to get off.
For post-operative trans women, Maddy McKenna made this awesome review of five different sex toys.
The suggestions we've made here are really just the tip… of the iceberg. There's a whole world of sex toys out there that can help you elevate your sex life to the next level. And while what we've explored here is generally pretty vanilla, the world of kink and BDSM has its own plethora of options for you to test out, if that's up your alley too.
And one last note: Remember, your body is perfect just as it is, no matter how you like to play.