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Sex + Relationships

A Guide to Sex Toys for Beginners, Since the Pandemic Hasn’t Been Friendly to Us

Listen. It’s been over a year since we’ve been told not to be within six feet of each other. We’ve missed holidays with family, spending time with friends and having alone time with those special people. Some people have gotten lonely in their solitude, so we’ve compiled a guide to sex toys for beginners for those looking to do the deed on your own terms.

Tip #1: Get to Know Your Body

Whether you’re shopping for the perfect swimsuit or your first sex toy, the shopping process becomes much easier when you know what you want and don’t want in terms of style, features and budget. How much are you willing to spend for your first toy? Are you looking for products made of silicone, rubber, plastic, metal, wood or glass? How important are features like battery operated, water resistant, and discreet presentation to you? These questions and more should be answered before starting the shopping process so you know what to search for and you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed. 

Tip #2: Try a Specialty Store

When talking about a topic as important and intimate as your body, who better to go to than the companies that specialize in safe and fun products? Sites like Adam and Eve and LELO have sections specifically for first time shoppers, and specialty sites have much wider selections of products for an array of different interests. Specialty stores also provide more in depth reviews about their products and regularly have coupons and discounts.

Tip #3: Avoid Spencer’s and Amazon

It is very easy to give into the curiosity of buying from the back of the Spencer’s store or getting your toy with two day prime shipping, but something that you’ll be using on your body isn’t something you should be cutting corners about. Spencer’s is an option if you want to buy a toy in person without having to walk into a sex shop, but their selection is limited and usually overpriced for low quality products compared to those of sex toy retailers. 

When it comes to buying sex toys off of Amazon, only two things can be guranteed: It’s cheap and their boxes are always discreet. However, as this article explains, buying toys off of Amazon can be a risky game that you shouldn’t play with your body. Between selling and distributing counterfeit products (including counterfeit LELO products, but the real site is mentioned above), a lack of quality control and rumours of buyers receiving used toys, save yourself the time and hassle and shop with stores that specialize in sexual health.

Tip #4: Don’t Splurge for Your First Toy

While you may be entirely sure of what you want now, you could receive your toy and realize it doesn’t exactly fit your tastes. That’s completely okay and a part of the journey to understanding yourself and your body, but that disappointment is going to sting a lot more if you just spent $130 on something you no longer like.

As you take your first steps into the world of adult toys, be kind to yourself and your wallet and stay on the cheaper side for your first purchase. Another benefit to shopping with specialty stores is that they have the same types of toys at different price ranges, so if you buy something you like, you can always invest in higher quality versions later on.

Tip #5: Have Fun!

It may be overwhelming shopping for your first toy, but don’t be afraid to incorporate your personality into your purchase. It’s an investment you’re making for yourself, after all. If you like glitter, rose print or pop culture (two words: Thor’s. Hammer.) your interests can reflect in your most intimate of possessions. Do some research, be as bold or discreet as you want, and don’t forget to have fun!

A person’s first sex toy can be a daunting purchase. With dozens of different stores, products, and price ranges to choose from, it can be hard taking that first step. However, before you type that first search query, try to understand what exactly you’re looking for in a toy, whether that’s its ability to be discreet, run on battery, or be produced in your favorite color. Make sure you patronize toy shops that specialize in creating quality, safe products that come with warranties and customer support if you need it, and remember to enjoy your journey!

Alia Ervin

Hofstra '22

Alia Ervin is a senior Public Relations major and Spanish minor at Hofstra. She enjoys poetry, a good bagel and writing for Hofstra's HC chapter!
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