this is a post about sex toys

Internet! We need to have a conversation! A conversation about sex toys!

I bought my first sex toy when I was 18. I was in a sex shop on Santa Monica Boulevard with some of my friends. It was March, I think, and everyone was under 18 except me. We spent most of our time in the shop giggling and deciding whether or not we were going to get a psychic reading down the street. I bought one of those boring hard plastic ones — in zebra print — and one for each of my two best friends — in leopard and tiger of course — with the money I earned at my after school tutoring job. It was fun and funny and anti-climactic. That vibrator lasted for a super long time, but it most definitely wasn’t the last sex toy I bought.

I’ve ordered sex toys from all over the internet and bought other ones at The Toy Box on other giggling, joyful trips with friends and roommates.

I have used sex toys! I have bought sex toys as gifts! I have shared sex toys with partners! Sex toys are cool! And they can make your life better! You should buy a sex toy if it interests you! You shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed!

Though that part of the conversation is important — we should be no more ashamed of sex toys than we are of sex and we should be way less ashamed of sex than we are — the real crux of this conversation is this:

I’ve been following Epiphora since February of 2011. I’d already moved on from the cheap and/or shitty sex toys of my youth and upgraded to something expensive and rechargeable. But I hadn’t read much — anything at all — about the safety, durability, or care of sex toy materials.

This is a great, comprehensive post about the various materials you’re going to see in sex toys and how you should use and care for them. She covers the porous materials (jelly, TPE/TPR, rubber) because they’re extremely common, but were that post mine, it would just say, “If you have a porous toy, throw it away.”

Porous toys are gross and potentially dangerous. They smell bad, they can leech dye onto anything they touch, they off-gas like crazy. You always need to use a condom with them, they never really come clean, and they might cause an allergic reaction for your genitals.

If you have a porous toy, destroy it. No, really. Take pictures! Add to the Crystal Delights Wall of Shame. And then buy yourself something that’s actually worth your money and time. Your genitals are your friends! Give them what they deserve and stop buying into shitty companies who care so little about your well-being that they label everything “For Novelty Use Only” and don’t warn you about the dangers of their cheap materials.

Buy silicone! Buy wood! Buy aluminum! Buy stainless steel! Buy hard non-porous plastic if you must! Just don’t buy TPR/TPE, jelly, or rubber. Don’t buy porous toys!

I don’t own all of these, but here are some toys you should consider!
Mystic Wand [amazon]
Hitachi Magic Wand [amazon]
Lelo Liv [amazon]
Lelo Mona 2 [amazon]
Njoy Pure Wand [amazon]
Luxotiq Athena [amazon]
Tantus Mikey O2 [amazon]
Tantus Goddess [amazon]
Tantus Cush O2 [amazon]
Je Joue G-Ki [babeland]
Fucking Sculptures Corkscrew
Fucking Sculptures G-Spoon
If all those fail you, go here and start reading. She’ll get you to something you want.

If you’re on the market for a traditional rabbit, you’re kind of out of luck. Most are made with porous materials because they’re cheap and flexible. If you’re looking for a rabbit in silicone there are a couple, but they’re from those “novelty” companies and I don’t want to give them my trust or money. So really, if you’re able, just use two toys. I’m the laziest, more uncoordinated person alive and I can promise it’s not that bad.

If you’re really desperate for a single unit, there are some decent options. There’s the Vitality by Leaf [amazon] and Lelo’s Ina 2 [amazon] and Soraya [amazon] and Jopen’s got several [amazon] but the majority are just dual-stim vibrators and aren’t going to have the rotation that rabbits are known for. [ETA: Hope is not lost! Kira adds, “Jopen actually makes a number of rotating silicone rabbits, but you’ll pay out the ass for them. The Vr7, Vr10, Vr11, Vr12, Vr10.5, Vr15, Vr16, and Vr17 are all rotating. I have the 7 and 15. The 15 is one of my all time favorite toys EVER.”

If money’s a worry, Epiphora‘s got a great list of budget-friendly toys and I can personally recommend the Turbo Glider (ahh, college) and the Tantus Echo which is on closeout right now for $19.99. Twenty bucks for a beautifully designed, cool-as-hell looking, wonderfully textured, all-silicone dildo from an awesome manufacturer that loves their customers. There’s also the Charmer if you’re looking for something smaller.

Basically, what I’m saying is:

Sex is cool. Sex toys are great. Poke around and find something you like. For the love of all things beautiful and pure, don’t buy anything made from a porous material. Stick to the good stuff. Spend a little. You and your genitals are so, so worth it.