Sex toys are great. Quicker and more powerful orgasms? Awesome! Better sex? Who doesn’t want that? But it’s easy to use sex toys in ways that could lead to undesired consequences. Read on to discover 7 sex toy mistakes you’re making without even knowing it.
1. You’re using the wrong lube with your toys.
Lube is great whether with a partner or with a sex toy. However, you could be sending your favorite sex toy to its death if you use the wrong lube! You see, silicone-based lubes and silicone toys could potentially interact, leaving your toy a tacky mess that’s no longer porous (we’ll get to that a bit later).
It’s always safe to use water-based lube with toys (and in every orifice and with condoms). But if you’re really a die-hard fan of your favorite silicone lube, you can spot test somewhere on the base. Apply a bit of lube and rub vigorously for ten minutes. If the toy remains unchanged, you’re safe to use the lube.
2. You’re confusing vibrators and dildos.
Some people call all insertables “dildos,” but that’s not fully correct. A dildo is a great toy for thrusting or even just leaving in place if you like to feel filled, but a vibrator does exactly what the name suggests — vibrates.
Of course, you can use the same motions with a vibrator, or you can just turn off the vibrations if that’s not what you want during your play session. But you’ll be disappointed if you order a dildo expecting it to vibrate, and it doesn’t.
3. You’re avoiding brick-and-mortar stores.
Physical sex toy stores don’t always have a good reputation. Some of them can feel grimy and sleazy, and not all of us are lucky to live in areas where stores can have colorful facades and bright, open windows.
However, the brick-and-mortar experience offers a hands-on experience. You get to see that the Great American Challenge, really is that big at nearly 4 inches in diameter and over a foot long. You can see if vibrations are buzzy or weak, if a toy will hurt arthritic hands, the craftsmanship of BDSM gear and whether that lingerie looks cheap or chintzy in person.
Plus, many stores employ knowledgeable staff who can offer you recommendations based on your preferences and make you feel comfortable about shopping for sex toys and accessories.
4. You’re not practicing safe toy practices.
Your sex toy might not get you pregnant, but it could potentially give you an infection. A toy could introduce bacteria to your body, leading to some nasty yeasties or something worse.
No matter what your toy is made of, you should clean it after use — but before and after is even better.
You can use anti-bacterial soap or specialized toy cleaner. If you’re really concerned, you can use a condom over your toys. However, you should know that some toys contain tiny pores that can harbor bacteria no matter how clean it looks.
These toys, typically made of some sort of rubber, PVC or realistic skin material, can also melt if stored together. You’ll see oils and colors leaching together. It’s not pretty! So if your toy is soft rubber, let it air dry, then store it in a Ziploc bag to keep it separate from your other toys.
We highly recommend silicone, which is available in a variety of textures and isn’t porous. You can safely store silicone toys next to one another, and you needn’t worry about nonporous materials such as glass, ceramic, treated wood or stainless steel having any sort of reaction.
5. You’re swapping between orifices.
G-spot toys can just as easily be used as P-spot toys, but before you go trying it out in the butt, remember that you can transfer bacteria from the anus to the vagina and create a nasty infection. This is especially true of porous toys, which you read about above.
It doesn’t mean that your toys can’t do double duty, you’ve just got to sterilize them in between. You can boil silicone, glass, ceramic and stainless steel toys for 3 minutes or clean with a 10% bleach solution for those items with a motor — make sure to rinse thoroughly.
6. You’re not giving your toy a chance.
Just got a new toy but not loving it? Don’t give up just yet. You may not be trying the right technique, the controls may be different than what you’re used to, you may not be sufficiently aroused or even your cycle might be making it less pleasurable than it can be. Yup, you read that right! During your period, your cervix will be hard or low, so it might feel (even more) uncomfortable to use a toy.
But that’s just one reason why you should give toys a few tries to see whether they’re a good fit for you. You might be surprised at the results!
7. You’re using the wrong toys for anal play.
The final sex toy mistake you might be making is one that’s potentially the most harmful and dangerous. The only toys you should use anally are those with flared based or handles that absolutely cannot get lost. Trust us, you want to avoid that trip to the emergency room!
Now that you know what mistakes not to make, don’t let your sex toys sit unused any longer. Get playing!