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Sex Toy Guide
Compiled from the alt.Sex FAQ
What is a sex toy?
In theory, almost anything can take the role of a "sex toy." Other
than two human bodies, anything else introduced into sex play
qualifies as either a prophylaxis (contraception and disease
prevention) or a toy (recreation). For our purposes, a sex toy
is any object brought into sex play to enhance the pleasure of both
people involved. Keep checking this guide as updates, including more detailed descriptions and pictures, are on the way.
Included in this guide are sections coering the following sex toys:
Clothing and Lingerie
What kinds of vibrators are there?
Vibrators come in three distinct "types". Many women find
satisfaction in this most common (and more often thought of), the
classic penis-shaped, battery powered shaft of plastic. These suffer,
however, from a lack of real power and inconvenient battery death.
The second type of vibrator, the "wand" vibrator, overcomes these
problems with wall current. These large, club-shaped vibrators
provide LOTS of stimulation, and wall current provides all the power
you could ask for, but the designers apparently intended for people
not to view these things as sex toys, but as "personal massagers,"
and the ungainliness of these things reflects that.
The third type of vibrator, the "handle" type, looks vaguely like a
small hairdryer with a small, perpendicular shaft out of the thicker
end to accommodate a variety of soft plastic or latex heads. The best
of all possible worlds, these vibrators never die, fit in one hand,
and can provide a variety of sensations.
Shower Massagers make a wonderful variation on the classic vibrator,
and if you enjoy the warmth and wetness of the tub, you probably want
to consider investing in a shower massager. Like the wand and handle
vibrators, shower massagers have a host of uses beyond masturbation.
Where do I go to buy a vibrator?
Don't make buying a vibrator a traumatizing experience. If you MUST
have one of those penis-shaped things, most lingerie shops carry
them. But most department stores sell the "wand" or "handle"
vibrators under the guise of "personal massagers," and buying one
from reputable department stores means a warranty, you can return it
if unsatisfied, and it won't have "Doc Johnson's Love Machine"
emblazoned across it in pink letters in case mother comes to visit.
What should I know about using a vibrator?
Before using any mechanical vibrator, apply lubrication! Your lover
probably does not rank friction burns in the same category as love
bites. Use a water-based lubricant, such as K-Y (always recommended),
Aegis, or Wet.
Are there any kinds of vibrators I should avoid?
Do not purchase a vibrator specifically designed to deliver heat to
the body as a sexual device. If they work on muscles, great, but
don't use them on your cunts and cocks. I know of at least one case
where a woman burned herself with one of these things because her
climaxes were so strong she didn't notice how much the heater had
My girlfriend and I have never used a vibrator. What should I know?
Nobody knows how to masturbate YOU better than you do, and the same
rule applies to everybody else. Don't use a vibrator on someone else
until you've watched them use it on themselves, preferably several
times. Men, especially, should watch how their girlfriends/wives use
the vibrator alone before taking the reins.
Can I be replaced by a vibrator?
No mechanical piece of plastic can replace the love and affection of
a human being; try to see the vibrator as just another toy, and not
as competition. Vibrators cannot do the dishes or take out the
garbage, and they cannot gives hugs or kisses or hold you.
Do vibrators cause a woman to become less sensitive?
Some women do experience a temporary desensitization after the
effects of a powerful vibrator, but put the toy away for a week and
sensitivity returns to normal. Vibrators do not cause long-term
A final word on vibrators
Should you buy a vibrator? That is a choice for you and/or your partner to make.
Talk with them about this. If you can't talk with them about things like "should we buy a vibrator" then the whole purpose of making love comes into question but you're crazy if you think I am going to discuss that here.
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What is a dildo?
Webster's dictionary defines a dildo as "An artifical substitute for an erect penis."
Dildos come in many different shapes and sizes, but all of them are
meant to do one thing: in some way, shape, or form, they are meant to
be a substitute or symbol for a real penis. If you are inclined to
believe Singmund Freud, then the Washington Monument could be considered a
dildo. For our purposes, though, a dildo is a sex toy, usually made
of latex or silicone, designed to be inserted into some bodily
orifice for sexual pleasure.
People use dildos for a variety of purposes. Although most women can
orgasm through clitoral stimulation, many do enjoy the feeling of
something hard and thrusting inside them during masturbation. Many
men, gay or otherwise, feel the same way, using small (or as your
tastes go, large) dildos for anal stimulation. A dildo can be used
with a harness to give a woman a penis she can thrust with it and still
keep her hands free.
What should I look for in buying a dildo?
Buying a dildo involves a number of factors, such as length,
thickness, hardness and texture. It is strongly recommended that you
comparison shop with your hands, looking for one with a smooth
surface made of a firm, but not too firm, latex. Dildo shopping is a
very personal activity, and you should take your time buying one.
The two most common materials for a dildo are silicone and latex.
Silicone is usually more expensive, but most people who use dildos
regularly agree that its qualities of matching body temperature and
its general texture make it the superior material. As with anything,
you get what you pay for.
The most important thing to remember is that you should start small.
Buy dildos you *know* you can probably handle, rather than ones you
hope to be able to handle. Get your money's worth out of any toy you
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What is a "butt plug?"
A butt plug is a kind of dildo with a bulge in the center, much like
a spindle, so that the shaft gradually thickens, flares out, and then
begins to narrow again.
In general, once inside the rectal cavity, the flare of a well-
chosen buttplug will rub directly against those nerve clusters by the
opening of the anus, the ones which signal your need to defecate.
Depending upon how your brain is wired, denying or understanding this
signal can be a very pleasurable experience, or an extremely
uncomfortable one. Also, the "tip" of the well-chosen buttplug will
rub against a man's prostate when he moves, sending yet more signals
of unknown quality to the brain. It's all in what you like.
What variants of the butt-plug are there?
Other forms of "butt plugs" are known as doorknobs or pearlstrings.
A doorknob is a round sphere of latex mounted on a narrower shaft.
Like a buttplug, it "plugs" the orifice, but the sensations are
different. A pearlstring is a series of spheres that can be anywhere
from a half inch to three inches in diameter that you use to 'stuff'
the rectum to create a feeling of fullness.
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What is a cock ring?
A cock ring is an object that typically goes around the base of both
the penis and scrotum. Since veins are closer to the surface of the
skin than arteries, this has the effect of allowing blood to flow
into the penis but restricts its ability to flow outwards. In turn,
this makes the penis get hard and stay hard for longer. Obviously,
for this to work a cock ring must be put on when the penis is not erect.
Most cock rings are made of chromed steel or rubber. In fact, most
of them are little more than high-priced gasket rings or chrome-
plated circular chain links one could buy at any hardware store.
They have to be chosen carefully and sized for the user. A too-loose
cock ring does nothing, a too-tight cock ring cuts off all retreating
blood flow, thus preventing the cock from ever getting soft, which
may sound like fun but can become painful after two or more hours,
and which may require a trip to the emergency room to remove. Some
cock rings that get around this problem are made with snaps at
different places along a strap of leather, therefore making it easy
to size and to remove.
The best cock rings are even simpler. They're a piece of leather or
soft rope tied into place. Being both infinitely
adjustable and easy to remove or cut off with a pair of nurses
shears, they serve all the purpose of the toy- or hardware- store
How do you put on a cock ring?
Putting on a solid cock ring can be tricky and taking it off can be
even trickier! You have to be soft to do either, putting first your
testicles through the ring, and then your penis, since at that stage
your penis should be softer and more flexible than the always- solid
testes. Taking it off is the reverse process, but since one of the
purposes of a cock ring is to keep you hard, this can be easier said
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What is Spanish Fly?
Spanish fly is a powder of ground up wings of the CANTHARIS
VESICATORIA beetle of the Southwest desert. It has the effect of
irritating the outer mucous membranes of the vagina and the penis
glans (head), thus bringing your genitals to your attention and
sometimes giving you the impression that you are "aroused." Women
may also experience lubrication as a response to this irritation.
However, the body is not actually stimulated, and intercourse is
probably painful under these conditions, although it may sometimes
help to scratch what really *is* an itch, and not desire.
Spanish fly is also quite poisonous, and therefore illegal in the
United States. Dosage is very hard to determine, as is quality, and
you're just as likely to die from Spanish fly as you are to get laid.
What is the "Spanish Fly" sold in America?
What is sold as "spanish fly" in the United States is usually sold
with the terms "spurious" or "placebo." I suggest you go look these
words up before buying anything with these words on the package.
Most "Spanish Fly" is nothing more than a cheap blend of vitamins.
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What is meant by "lubricant?"
A "lubricant," (sometimes referred to as a "sex lube," or just
"lube,") is usually a water-based, condom-friendly liquid or jelly
used to enhance or replace a woman's natural lubrication. Some
people regard lubricants as a must-have item in this age of safer sex
and they are an essential ingrediant to successful anal intercourse.
The use of a lubricant on the inside of a condom can make the
sensations delivered to the penis much stronger.
Prior to the current, safer-sex era, many people used oil-based
lubricants, using vaseline or mineral oil. Neither of these are
particularly healthy; petroleum-based oils destroy latex upon
contact, making them useless for use with condoms. Oils also coat
the inside of the vagina and rectum, providing a breeding ground for
dangerous bacteria. Even monogamous couples who don't have to
worry about safer sex should avoid using oils for this reason, as
well as one other: if it destroys the latex of condoms, it will also
destroy the latex of diaphragms, cervical caps, and sponges, as well
as the protective coatings around some IUDs.
So, what are they made of?
Most lubricants are made up of one or (more commonly) several of the
following: glycerin, hydroxyethyl cellulose, or propelyene glycol.
Some add aloe vera or vitamin E acetate. All add a pH balancing
agent, and most have some sort of preservative, since the first three
items are all essentially food additives, "thickening agents." Look
at a container of Slime in a toy store- the same three primary
What brands are there?
Although the most common brand of sex lubricant is still "KY Jelly,"
you should be aware that KY is intended for single-use medical
environments; the insertion of a thermometer or catheter, for
example, and is deliberately forumlated to break down quickly. This
is not good for situations where the lubricant is expected to last a
long time, such as during intercourse.
The names of other common brands are: Wet, ForPlay, ID, Slip, Probe,
Pride, Aqualube, Aegis, Astroglide, and Elbow Grease. Both Wet and
Elbow Grease also make oil-based lubricants "for masturbation
purposes only," so read the label carefully before you buy. These
are just a few of many lubricants on the market.
Which is best?
"Best lubricant" is a non-sequitor, since lubricant choice is as
personal to taste as food. Some people like it thick, others runny,
others need it to be slick enough to grease their engines and others
need it to last long enough to go for hours. Small sampler bottles
(1 oz.) are available for a dollar apiece- buy one of each and try
them out. Figure out which one you like best.
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Clothing and Lingerie
Is clothing a "sex toy?"
There is some debate about this, but one thing is hard to deny:
clothing is sexy. Whether it's a silk nightgown from Victoria's
Secret, a military uniform, the leather jacket of a biker or the
riding clothes of an equestrienne, some form of clothing is usually
someone else's ideal of "sexy clothing."
What is "Fetish Clothing?"
Fetish wear is usually clothing made of leather, latex, or rubber cut
in a specific style to accentuate the body and show it off in a
sexually arousing fashion. Fetish wear is a specific genre of
clothing and as recognizable as such as swimwear or lingere. Fetish
wear's most common characteristic is price; the stuff's expensive.
Remember that it is only a fad, after all, and will be as out of
style as the discowear of the 1970's... eventually.
So what *is* sexy clothing?
That depends entirely on who you and your lover are. If you like
your lover to wear silk, say so- hopefully they'll enjoy the
suggestion. Leather, denim, uniform clothing-- allow your
imagination to run wild. A more outrageous suggestion is period
clothing, such as the 1920's, or the 1400's. And even further out,
one could suggest wearing masks to allow fantasy to run riot- animal
masks are a popular item in this field.
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Food is sexy?
Many lingere shops actively sell food items- whipped cream, powdered
honey, flavored jellies and jams. I guess the idea is that if
they're sold in lingere shops they must be sexy. Many romances start
over dinner, and cooking for someone can be as intimate, or as
traumatic, as having sex with them.
What kinds of food are sexy?
While almost any kind of food can be sexy, some are more traditional
than others. Sweets, such as chocolates, are actual tokens of
affection, exchanged on Saint Valentine's day as well as other
occassions. In the bedroom, chocolate can be spread on the body and
licked off. The same is true of honey or any other spreadable
substance. Whipped cream is another popular food item. And a small
spill of champagne over the vulva can take care of any concerns one
might have about the taste- for a little while, at least.
Fruits can be sexual as well- bananas are often compared to penises
(or the other way around) because of their shape and size. Xaveria
Hollander, "The happy hooker," once referred to peaches as "the fruit
that looks most like a woman's vulva." And grapes, fed one at a
time, are a staple of B-movies about decadent, imperial Romans.
Almost anything edible can be sexy. At least two movies in recent
times have depicted sushi as sexy. Placing doughnuts around a man's
erect penis and then eating them off can be an act of trust.
Be aware that any sugary substance placed into the vagina will vastly
increase the chance of a yeast infection. It is best to avoid
getting chocolate, honey, and the like into the vagina.
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Disclaimer- What follows is for educational purposes only. We do not endorse nor promote the use of illegal substances for the purposes of enhancing sexual activities or otherwise.
The only "legal" drug in this short list of mind-altering chemicals,
alcohol is widely available in most of the known world. Alcohol is
primarily a depressant, although it small doses it may cause
free-association that leads to violence where hostility already
exists. Alcohol is used in a sexual context to "loosen one up,"
overcoming inhibitions to proceed to the sexual act itself; however,
it's depressant effect may also cause temporary impotence.
Also known as "poppers," "Rush," "Locker Room," or "Head Cleaner."
Currenly controlled in the US, although designer variants of butyl
nitrite, isobutyl nitrite, and cyclohexyl nitrite are still available
in some states. This drug relaxes the smooth muscles of the vascular
system, resulting in a momentary "rush" that is primarly the result
of oxygen depravation to the brain. Also relaxes the vaginal and
anal sphincters and was once popular with gay men for that effect.
Produces intense headaches in about a quarter of all users.
Sex on cocaine is frequently described as "the most intense in the
world." (Of course, that's said about crystal methamphetamine,
too.) Cocaine elevates the perceived effect of arousal, both male
and female. Depression is a common post-high effect. Chronic use
leads to full-blown paranoia, psychological dependancy, and impotence.
There is a lot of controversy over marijuana, and has been touted as
"the most powerful aphrodisiac in the world." But neither marijuana
nor any other drug will create passion where there is none to begin
with. Many people who have used marijuana during sex have reported
enhanced sensations, longer durations, and increased arousal.
However, marijuana may also make sex more difficult because of its
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. A powerful psychedelic, most people who
have tried to have sex under the influence of LSD have stated that
their nervous systems were far too overloaded with basic sensations
to try and engage in anything as complex as sex. For those who have
succeeded, however, the effect as with all LSD experiences-
depending on setting and preconceptions about the experience, it can
be exhilirating or terrifying.
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