While many individuals think sex toys are a relatively new invention, this is very far from reality. Sex toys actually date back thousands of years. There are even stories of the Greeks and Egyptians using either unripe bananas or camel dung that was shaped and coated in resin. They used these as early sexual aids.
Greece specifically had traders who sold ‘olisbos’ which were objects to aid in sexual penetration for women whose husbands were away from home.
You can jump forward a few years, and here, women were even sent to their local doctor to receive an orgasm, but at this time, men considered this a waste of time and effort, so the steam vibrator was invented. In fact, in 1869 General Electrics had a top 5 electrical device being sold after their kettles, fans, toasters, and sewing machines.
Another few years later in 1902, the first electrically driven vibrator was produced, which was actually created before both the vacuum cleaner and the iron.
Another 60+ years later, and we see that the first patent was applied for by J.H. Travel and was for the first vibrator to be produced without a cord. From this point on, there was no stopping the development of sex toys, and not much further on saw the development of the Hitachi Magic Wand (still a huge seller), and then from the 1980s up until today, we saw a dramatic increase in the varieties of sex toys that became available.
One of the most iconic circumstances that set this revolution going was back in 1983. It was in this year when a Japanese sex toy company (Vibratex) released their ever-popular sex toy that we all know and love. The highly renowned rabbit vibrator.
Vagina rejuvenation: Women who go through menopause can suffer from painful gynecological symptoms, a decrease in estrogen and tightness of the vagina. All this can lead to painful sex and lack of sex drive. Sex toys can improve the elasticity of the vagina and promote vaginal lubrication and sensation during intercourse.
Orgasms during intercourse: Many women are unable to orgasm through penetration alone. With sex toys being used, they can experience penetrative sex orgasms when the clitoris receives stimulation at the same time.
Erectile dysfunction: This is a significant problem in men and sex toys can help to overcome this. Using cock rings/penis pumps can help men gain a solid erection so they can then give pleasure to their partner or themselves.
Premature ejaculation: Men can gain benefit from constricting rings/cock rings if they suffer from premature ejaculation. Men can also use the many types of male vibrators to train themselves to last longer before ejaculation.
Reduce stress: Orgasms increase mood levels in both men and women, so using sex toys for couples can be seen as a way of combating stress and improving mood levels.
Different Sex Toy Types
Prostate massage: There are many problems men can suffer from regarding their prostate. With specially designed prostate massagers, they can improve the function of this gland while allowing men to experience a very different kind of orgasm at the same time.
There are countless types of sex toys available. Here is a rundown of their functions and how they aim to please the user:
Vibrators: These can come in a vast number of designs, but they all have one thing in common. Yes, they all contain a vibrating device. It’s these vibrations which can induce sensations leading to orgasm, and can be from either vaginal penetration, clitoral stimulation or they can even be used for anal stimulation.
Dildos: These are designed to replicate the male penis, and are used in many different ways. Unlike a vibrator, these do not vibrate, so they are used more in a manual way. They are primarily used for penetration and are now often molded to be as close to the male penis as possible. Some have veins, testicles and realistic heads too. These are designed for either manual stimulation or use between couples.
Strap Ons: A strap on was first introduced as a means for lesbian couples to be able to have hands free sex with their partner. These are now used for hands-free penetration by either gender, nowadays. They come in multiple designs and allow women to perform penetration on either females or males. Men can also wear these to pleasure partners with DP (deep penetration), or to overcome sexual problems.
Fleshlights: These were introduced to replicate the vagina. Men can use these to enhance masturbation as they have different internal textures that deliver very different sensations. Many are now molded on real, famous women too.
Pocket pussies: Pocket pussies are designed to be discrete. These are sleeves that a man can slip around his penis to deliver additional stimulation while masturbating. These sleeves can heighten orgasms or be used by men who suffer from premature ejaculation as a training method to overcome this problem.
Penis pumps: A penis pump is designed to create a vacuum around a penis. This helps engorge the penis with blood to make it larger and harder. With the use of a constriction ring, they can help men who wish to increase their penis size and to overcome erectile dysfunction problems.
Anal beads: Many individuals enjoy sensations received from anal play. These anal beads are designed to be pushed inside the rectum. And when they are slowly pulled out of the anus, they deliver undulating sensations that can combine with other stimulation or intercourse.
Butt plugs: Butt plugs are designed to stretch and relax the muscles of the sphincter. This allows the wearer to proceed to further anal play, or to be more relaxed for anal intercourse. These come in a wide range of sizes and designs to meet user experience, including unique choices in the types of sensations they wish to receive.
Many sex toys are now made from a few different materials, and these may change depending on the sensations they aim to deliver. The design of the sex toy might also aid in durability. Here are the more common sex toy materials and some interesting information...
Rubber: Rubber is known to be one of the cheapest materials. This is made up of the resin that is taken from rubber trees. It has a flexible texture and a strong smell.
Wood: Although not widely known as a sex toy material, there are plenty of sex toys made from this material. Wood (when finished correctly) offers the same hardness and smoothness of steel or glass without the additional weight.
PVC: PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a manmade plastic which is commonly used in the place of rubber. It is available in the more common rigid form, or it can also be flexible. It can come with a strong smell, but there are lots of sex toys and bondage gear which uses the flexible form because of the slick, shiny and stretchy qualities it delivers.
Glass: When glass is used, it is most often made from borosilicate glass. This is what is used to make Pyrex in Europe. However, sex toys made from glass in the USA may be made from soda lime glass which is very different in its composure. Glass is both smooth and highly durable and can be used for hot or cold temperature play.
Stainless Steel: Medical grade stainless steel is most often used, but depending on where the toys are manufactured, they might contain other elements such as nickel which some people are allergic to. Stainless steel is rigid and has no smell, and it’s one of the most body safe materials there are.
Silicone: There are different forms of silicone, but they all give a rubber-like feel. Medical grade is most often used in premium sex toys, and it delivers a silky finish and comes with no smell. If you have sex toys created from 100% silicone, then these are body safe and contain no latex or phthalates.
Real Feel: These materials are also known as cyber skin, softskin or other similar names, and are made from TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers). These deliver a very flesh like feel and are very flexible. They usually come with a rubbery smell and taste but are widely used for masturbation sleeves, cock rings, and other toys too.
How to Choose the Right Sex Toy for You
Choosing the right sex toy can be daunting for new users because there are so many designs to choose from. Not only do you need to consider the material, but you also need to think about what you will be using your sex toy for.
If you are looking for penetration, be it either vaginal or anal, then size will be a crucial factor in your decision. There’s no use selecting a sex toy that’s too large or too small. In both cases, you won’t receive the sensations or the experience you are looking for.
Additional Things to Consider
When it comes to selecting for use, there are a few areas that sex toys are designed to stimulate, such as the following:
- Vaginal or G-spot stimulation
- External clitoris stimulation
- Combined clitoral and vaginal stimulation
- Lifelike feel – male and female
- A discrete sex toy that you can pack up to travel
- Realistic sex – e.g. sex doll
- Prostate stimulation
After these, there is also your budget to consider, and a lot of this will be a determining factor. It is advisable to begin with, to buy a few different types of sex toys, and this is because it’s definitely the best way to experiment. However, there’s no use picking the cheapest sex toy, or you might come away disappointed. Think about your end goal/s to help you decide what’s right for you and/or a partner.
Following on from these, you need to check the details of size, feel, and if there’s power attached to the toy. One final way is to read customer reviews because it can be the fastest way of finding the best toy which performs well.
At the end of the day, it’s your body. What questions might you need to ask yourself to find the toys that are right for you? Here are a few to help guide you on your way: What part of the body are you trying to stimulate? Where will you use it? Is it for solo or partnered play? What size do you need? Do you know the benefits of that toy? Are the materials right for your body? How often will you use it?