On pre-internet days, shopping for sex toys could be an exercise in either patience or anxiety. If you didn’t mind waiting for weeks for your new goodies, your first stop would probably be the ads in an adult magazine. If you weren’t up for waiting so long, there was the possibility of visiting a brick-and-mortar adult store. Assuming there was one near you, there was always the potential embarrassment of being seen at such an establishment.
Today, though, you have many more options and a lot less stigma. The internet has made purchasing sex toys a snap, with more selection and faster shipping than ever. Whether you’re looking for dildos for sale, exploring the wild world of lube, or experimenting with kink, our six tips for purchasing sex toys online will make it easier.
1. Visit a Brick-And-Mortar Adult Store
Our first suggestion might come as a surprise! After all, the internet has made ordering sex toys so easy that one might think that real-world adult stores are completely obsolete. There’s one thing they’re pretty good at, though, and that is for seeing different kinds of products in person.
It can be hard to accurately imagine the dimensions and proportions of a dildo, for example. Being able to see (and potentially feel) what to expect can inform your buying decisions when you’re ready to place your online order, where you’ll almost certainly pay less for the same product.
2. Get To Know Different Materials
Sex toys have come a long way when it comes to the materials they’re made of. Only the cheapest of the cheap are made from hard, unfeeling rubber anymore. That means you have to become an informed consumer when it comes to the different materials to expect.
Silicon is the most common sex toy material today for most applications. Dildos, vibrators, prostate massagers, butt plugs, and masturbation sleeves are all either made with or coated in this forgiving, body-safe material. For toys that require rigidity, glass and stainless steel are other body-safe options. Not all materials are safe, so do your research.
3. Learn About Lubes
Just as there’s a variety of materials for sex toys, there are seemingly endless options for lube. Choosing the right lube for your toy is just as important as choosing the right lube for your application. Water-based lubes are safe for all applications, but some ingredients may cause irritation and it has to be re-applied regularly or else it becomes sticky.
Silicone, on the other hand, stays slippery and doesn’t need to be re-applied often. However, you should avoid using silicone lube with silicone toys, as the interaction can cause the silicone in the toy to break down after some time. Oil-based lubes shouldn’t be mixed with latex condoms, as the oil will cause micro-holes to form and defeat the entire purpose of the condom. There are also special lubes which get warm for an extra thrill, and some that desensitize and prolong the fun when applied.
4. Figure Out What You Want to Feel
Different toys do different things. Something as straightforward as a penis-shaped dildo can probably be expected to be used (and feel) like a penis regardless of the gender of the user; the same can’t be said for a vaguely penis-shaped rabbit vibrator, which offers a variety of different capabilities with women in mind.
Buttplugs are gender-neutral, but a regular old buttplug isn’t going to “hit the spot” for a man like a purpose-built prostate massager will. Even nipple clamps come in a dizzying variety for every taste.
5. Read the Reviews
If you can’t “preview” an item at a local sex shop and buying sight unseen is your only choice, dive into the reviews to see what other buyers thought. It’s important to actually read the comments rather than just how many stars an item received; reviewers sometimes miss the point of leaving a product review by complaining that a delivery service damaged their package.
Be on the lookout for potential fake reviews, too; some sellers will pad out their reviews by hiring people to praise their products who have never actually purchased or used them. A glowing review that doesn’t actually get into the specifics of the product is a red flag. Some platforms have ways of verifying that the reviewer is an actual purchaser, which helps sort out real reviews from fakes.
6. Check the Shipping Terms
Another factor to consider when shopping for sex toys online is the seller’s shipping terms. Some sellers will charge more to ship the same product than other sellers will, so it pays off to check this against their reviews and reputation.
Check if there’s a return policy, as many businesses don’t take returns on sex toys. It’s practically a given today, but also make sure they promise to ship your item discreetly so that there are no obvious markings on the outside.
Just the Tips
Purchasing sex toys online is a fast and discrete way to have access to more possibilities than you can imagine. Our five tips should help take the mystery out of your online shopping experience.