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The Sex Files #10: BCSSH’s Guide to Sex Toys

Welcome to the Sexual Health blog, run by BCSSH!  Here’s the simple version of who we are: we’re a group of students who think that condoms are important.  For the longer version, see our website!

We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that those of you who stopped by our recent Bingo Night or Consent Workshop at Roggie’s generally got the message that we here at BCSSH love putting the words “sex” and “toys” together.  And we’re not the only ones.  Sex toys are everywhere these days, and not just in those 18+ shops.  Even Oprah likes sex toys (we’ll give you a few seconds to chase away that mental image)! 

The good news is that, whatever your preference, there’s a sex toy out there for you.  So if you were a little shy at our events, curious about trying something new, or just can’t get enough of these things (hey, we don’t blame you), we’ve broken down the favorite sex toys as voted by Her Campus followers in our last poll.

Vibrators (47%):  A top pick among men and women, vibrators come in all shapes and sizes.  While some of the more discreet varieties are bullet or egg-shaped for clitoral stimulation, some women prefer “undercover” vibrators disguised as everyday items like lipstick when discretion is key (think:  nosey airport security).  Still other options include tapered anal vibrators, curved g-spot vibrators, and Sex and the City’s all-time favorite:  the double-headed “rabbit” vibrator for simultaneous clitoral and vaginal stimulation.  Most have different intensity settings, controlling blood flow (and pleasure) to the body part of choice.
Ropes/Handcuffs/Whip (20%):  Chains and whips excite us too, Rihanna.  Often used in bondage or role-play, there’s a kind of BDSM (bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism) for everyone.  Though it's generally only recommended between trusting partners in safe and sober situations, ropes and handcuffs can fulfill dominance/submission fantasies by emphasizing the contrast between the “controlling” and “helpless” partners.  Accompanied with whips and paddles, many people discover an increased tolerance for pain during arousal, making spanking or whipping pleasurable during sex.  We recommend that partners agree upon a “safe word” — one that wouldn’t normally come up during sex play — to be used to signal that the person truly wants to stop (since the word “stop” can be part of that play).

Anal Beads (16%):  A long-time staple of anal play, anal beads consist of several spherical beads attached in a line to be inserted and pulled out as desired.  The beads can range in size and be used on their own or in conjunction with other acts.  It is recommended that these toys, like all toys, be used with lube (we had to mention it somewhere, right?) for comfort.  Non-porous materials such as silicone are also suggested over fabric or string connectors for cleaning and health purposes.

Sex positions book (11%):  Maybe the first thing that came to mind was getting stuck in a position you can’t quite get out of, but there’s much more to this Her Campus fave than acrobatics.  These books have things for every occasion, whether you’ve planned a romantic weekend or a wild night.  Many often have suggestions for partners with physical concerns (height or weight differences, etc.), specific preferences, and various kinds of chemistry.  If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to go out and buy a book, check out Cosmo’s Guide.

Dildos (5%):  Dildos, like vibrators, vary to accommodate the desires of both men and women.  Made in different sizes, styles, and designs, dildos can be used for oral, vaginal, or anal insertion, or for a combination with a double-ended dildo.  They also come in the strap-on variety to be worn externally, or can be worn internally, often with an external vibrating attachment.
And some of our other favorites…
Masturbators:  You didn’t think we forgot about the guys, did you?  Masturbators, or pocket pussies (among other nicknames), are often made of soft, flexible, skin-like material.  They can be lubricated and/or heated to simulate actual intercourse.  Coming in different textures, colors, and sizes for pleasure, they can also be fashioned to look like real vaginas.  We’ve even heard that some imitate specific porn stars’ lady-parts.  Who says guys don’t remember details?
Penis Rings:  Penis rings, commonly referred to as cock rings, are generally circular bands or rings worn around the base of the penis and/or testicles to slow blood flow away from the region and create firmer erections and heightened sensation.  While single-strap rings are stretched or adjusted over the erect penis, inflexible or metal rings are usually positioned before arousal and require a bit of extra caution.  Some rings also allow for an attachable bullet vibrator to stimulate the testicles or a partner’s clitoris during intercourse.  If you do use this toy during intercourse, don’t forget to be safe and use a condom as well!
Massage oils:  Without breaking out the rose petals, heart-shaped chocolate, or Rom-Coms, let’s talk about intimacy.  Massage oils, which can be scented and/or flavored, ease friction between the hands and body, inducing an overall feeling of relaxation.  Though some produce a warming sensation upon contact, most are warmed up by being rubbed between the hands.  As with any sex toy, it’s important to note whether they are safe for internal use before going near sensitive areas.  Many of these oils are not condom-safe, so make sure you check the bottle before getting down to business.  If not, you just can’t beat lube.

So there you have it!  Whether you weren’t quite knowledgeable enough to participate in the poll or you are already quite familiar with your favorite toy for solo (or partner) sex, with our help, your new best friend could be one Bingo night away.  Don’t forget to always clean your toys between uses, use lots of lube, and seek enthusiastic consent before using one with a partner.  Feel free to check out more about these and other sex toys on the Good Vibrations website.

Peace, love, and lube,
BC Students for Sexual Health

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