CHAPTER 8: Sex Toy Accessories Make it Better
Let me adapt a famous quote for our purposes here:
Accessories are the exclamation point of a sex toy.”
They aren’t necessary, but they amplify the experience.
A sex toy accessory is anything that compliments a sex toy to create greater arousal and pleasure. It’s a pretty open ended category. By this definition, red wine counts too, right?
These accessories enhance an average sexual experience. The sensual lighting from a candle can be just enough to relax a woman so she orgasms. A dose of lube can make a guy last longer and have better, delayed orgasms (Journal of Sexual Medicine).
If you go to any sex shop, you’ll see that accessories take up a lot of shelf space. This 101 on sex toy accessories will give you an idea about why.
The Down-Low on Lube
Forget lubricants as a sex toy accessory. If the point of sex toys is to increase the likelihood of pleasure, then lube is a sex toy.
A study by Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion found that half of those who use lube find it easier to orgasm. This pertains to intercourse but also relates to sex toy play.
For women, using lube smoothes out the penetration with a sex toy. Even if your body is slick as a slip-and-slide, your natural liquids can dry up easily and quickly. Choosing to apply a little lube doesn’t imply that your body “doesn’t work right.” It just keeps you wet from start to finish, which happens to coincide with the ability to climax.
If you have any kind of stress, anxiety, or physical condition, your body will have a harder time self-lubricating. Vaginal dryness can lead to painful penetration and membrane tears. Just choose the lube.
For men, adding lube to masturbators, sleeves, fleshlights, and other toys reduces the irritation that can come from rubbing. Plus, the wetness feels warm and real, so why wouldn’t you want that?
Any kind of anal play for either sex requires lube as anal tissue is much more likely to experience painful tears. There’s no reason to have a bumpy ride. Just a little bit of lube goes a long way.
The search for the best lubricant in the world isn’t easy. There are many different types of lubes you can buy. Each type has its own properties that you’ll want to consider. I’ll walk you through each kind, but I strongly suggest sticking to water-based lubes for the lifespan of your toys.
There are many perks to using a silicone-based lubricant. It’s waterproof, so it can follow you in the shower. It’s safe to use with latex condoms. (Although you don’t want to use latex condoms on your toys, remember?) It’s extra slick because of the silicone, and lasts way longer than other lubes. Plus, it washes off easy-peasy with a little soap and water.
But there are cons with silicone-based lube. Counter intuitive, but silicone-based lubricant is actually bad for your silicone toys. Not to get all 5th-grade-science-fair on you, but silicone lube will solidify on the surface of a silicone toy. The lube will then melt the toy, and leave you with a gooey mess and a deceased toy. Yay chemistry.
But silicone-based lube works well with plastic, metal, wood, and other hard toys. Just keep it away from silicone and other soft rubbers like jelly and PVC toys.
Fair warning: some people have allergies to silicone-based lube. Before you apply it to your party favors, rub a little lube on the inside of your arm to test how your skin reacts.
In most cases, oil-based lube is the under the bathroom sink, last resort kind of lubricant. Common oil-based lube is Vaseline, baby oil, and lotions — none of which I recommend for your toys.
Oil-based lube is thicker than other lubes, which can be fun for masturbation but annoying during intercourse. You can use it on any of your toys, unless they’re made of latex. All-in-all, oil-based lube is pretty straightforward. The only hiccup is the annoying clean up process. Oil-based lube likes to sneak in all the cracks, and you really have to hit it with soap to get it off.
As far as household lubricants go: a lot of people like to use olive oil as anal lube or as a general lubricant. I personally prefer coconut oil as a homemade solution. Coconut oil is a gentle, natural lubricant that has unique characteristics. Coconut oil is thin, so it feels very much like your body’s own juices. It’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, even helping women prevent yeast infections. Plus it lasts longer than water-based lube, without the complications of silicone-based lube. Maybe it’s the hippie in me, but coconut oil is the solution to everything.
I saved the best for last. Water-based lubes are the most used lubricants on the planet and you can find them everywhere, even gas stations. Water-based lubricants vary in viscosity. Some can be thin, while others consist of more cellulose or other thickening agents to be more like a gel. I recommend the thinner lube for PIV sex and thicker lubes for anything anal, but to each their own.
You’ll see there are a lot of warming and cooling or flavored water-based lubes out there. Yes, they’re as fun as they sound.
When it comes to using lube with your sex toys, water-based lube is your old reliable. It’s safe on toys made of any material and it washes off with just water. The only criticism about water-based lube is that it dries out quickly. Fun factoid: all you have to do is add a little H2O to your naked bits to lube them up again.
You’ll see there are a lot of warming and cooling or flavored water-based lubes out there. Yes, they’re as fun as they sound. But test them out on your arm or inner thigh first to test if you are allergic.
Using Glycerin As Lube
A lot of water-base lubricants contain glycerin. Glycerin is a nontoxic organic compound that happens to be slippery and sweet-tasting. Most of the flavorful or temperature-changing lubes are glycerin lubes. So if it’s on the ingredient list, don’t be worried. The only downside about glycerin lubricants is that the sugar content can lead to yeast infection in women.
Candles, Massage Oil, and Lingerie
Everyone has theories, but I say the key to any mind-blowing orgasm is delayed gratification (the Journal of Sex Research supports it too). The longer you extend the arousal period before climax, the stronger the orgasm will be.
Candles, massage oil, and lingerie get the ball rolling on arousal, which is why they count as sex toy accessories. If you want to orgasm hard, don’t gloss over the little details.
Even before you open the treasure chest, set the mood. Play music that makes you feel lusty and reminds you of sex. Wear something that brings out your inner sex god or goddess. Light a couple of candles so the atmosphere feels intimate. You can even do these things for yourself before you masturbate — self-love comes first!
If you are playing with a partner, try an edible massage candle. It burns at a lower temperature so the wax is cooler. Light the candle. After the wax melts, drizzle it over your partner and treat them to a handsy massage. Lick the oil off of your lover’s favorite area and see how it tastes.
You’ll be more excited than ever to reach for your sex toy…
Sex Games and Blindfolds
If you’re new to sex toys, you might feel a little shy about using them with your partner. If you feel awkward about how to use them, or where, a little sense of direction can help calm your nerves.
Teasing her ass with a vibrator? Talk about breaking the ice.
Adult sex games can teach you to use sex toys for their number one purpose: fun! One of my favorites is dirty dice with a sex toy. One dice has a verb, like “tease” or “rub,” and one dice has a body part, like “neck” or “ass.” Teasing her ass with a vibrator? Talk about breaking the ice. You can also find tons of sexual favor coupons and board games that will lead the way.
Another simple means to break down barriers is a blindfold. For whatever reason, blindfolds magically make all insecurities disappear. They give us a bold sense of risk and confidence. If you feel shy about using a sex toy with your partner, warm up to it with a blindfold. Plus, having your eyes closed will shut out distractions and intensify the stimuli that matter most.
What About Sex Pills and Sexual Enhancements?
Everyone has seen the glamorous Viagra commercials that make life without supplements seem worthless. Promises of a rock-hard erection and 72-hour libido are enticing, sure. But do these rock hard pills and libido boosters actually work? Are they necessary?
Sexual dysfunction inspires sexual enhancers. Sexual dysfunction describes a person’s challenges with pleasure, desire, arousal, and orgasm. As you can imagine, the condition is frustrating for those affected by it.
When you look at the numbers, it’s no wonder why sexual enhancements came to be. A study on Americans revealed 43% of women and 31% of men have experienced sexual dysfunction. The root of the condition can be psychological or physiological. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of solid solutions yet.
Men can take various oral medications prescribed by doctors, like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These pills increase blood flow to the genitals to make an erection easier to occur and sustain. Over-the-counter options are available, like erection enhancement pills and delay/desensitizing sprays. The efficacy is dubious though; proceed with caution.
Even though women experience more sexual dysfunction, they have few options for aphrodisiacs. There are no pharmaceuticals yet approved for women, although doctors occasionally prescribe them Viagra. Pussy and clitoral pumps are the go-to for ladies looking to increase genital blood flow and achieve arousal.
Natural libido boosters can increase sexual desire for everybody. Particular herbs, vitamins, and minerals can boost your sex drive and avoid the side effects of pharmaceuticals. It’s a bit of a homeopathic approach, but can save the night if you aren’t a fan of the little blue pill.
Adult Toy Storage
Here’s one thing I bet you haven’t thought of yet.
Figuring out where to stash your sex toys is easier said than done. If you have kids or family sharing your space, double the difficulty. Choosing a private and secret place is an important step in establishing personal boundaries. Personally, I advise you invest in a little sex toy chest or sex toy bag.
Your household may be open-minded sexually, but that doesn’t mean your dildo collection should be sitting color-coded in the front hall. When you store your sex toys, keep three things in mind:
- Keep your sex toys separate from one another. Letting the toys touch for too long causes the materials to mingle and react. Certain reactions melt and distort the surface of your toys. And guys, playing with a deformed toy is simply out of the question.
- Buy storage units and silk bags to up-level your sex toy storage. If you don’t have privacy concerns, stashing your vibrator in a nice bag and stowing it in your nightstand drawer will suffice. If you have more than one toy, a compartmentalized storage unit is the way to go. You can purchase one already discreetly disguised our make your own. You’re welcome — I just gave you another excuse to go to Target.
- Boring is sneaky. Whatever storage method you pick, keep it dull. Make it look as boring and uninteresting as possible. No one wants to sift through your file cabinet or Shakespeare collection, so that would be a good place to start.
If you don’t want to buy storage for your toy, here are some ideas on where to hide it:
- In your flat storage boxes that slide under the bed
- With your sweaters
- Under the bed, in the middle of your mattress
- In a toolbox
- Behind books on your bookshelf
- In the pockets of a hanging shoe rack
- In your knitting basket
- Inside your snow boots
- In a locked cupboard
Sex toys are a lot of fun and will spice up anyone’s sex life. But there are so many places to buy them from— how do you find a reputable sex toy store? Chapter 9: Guide to Sex Toy Shopping