The sex toy industry rakes in tens of billions of dollars annually, and it’s only predicted to grow more: global sales are thought to increase by 10% to 15% in the next few years.
The market for sex toys is happily profiting from the gradual de-stigmatization of masturbation amongst singles and couples, all thanks to Millennials and Gen Z. With their shift in perspective on the importance and inclusivity of sexual wellbeing in comparison to that of baby boomers, the shame associated with sexual wellness products like vibrators, dildos, lube, and toys is dissipating.
Combine this with media inclusion, like a well-known scene in the hit HBO series “Sex in the City” in which the four main women sit around discussing a vibrator (a groundbreaking choice for the early 2000s), and we’ve got ourselves an empowering self-pleasure rhetoric.
The market is driven mainly by women, who finally feel empowered enough to take their pleasure into their own hands (both literally and figuratively)—as well as couples. Roughly 70% of Lovehoney customers, one of the UK’s top-selling sex toy brands, consider themselves to be in a long-term relationship.
Whether you’re wanting to jazz up your sex life, looking to commit more deeply to yourself, or identify as a timid first-timer learning how to use sex toys, here’s the comprehensive guide you’ve been looking for. Now, let’s find your sex toy soulmate.
Best Sex Toys for Women During Menopause
Ladies, if you’ve ever felt like people without vaginas were making the very toys meant to pleasure your vaginas—you were onto something. Male-owned companies dominate the sex toy market, producing countless products that fail to meet the mark when it comes to pleasurable sex toys for women. Popularized sex toys (like unfathomably massive dildos) were born from a testosterone-driven porn industry centered on meeting male desire.
Clitoral-focused toys are preferred by most anyone with a vagina, but most certainly, anyone over the age of 50. The best sex toys for women during menopause are products that don’t irritate any vaginal dryness that may occur during this delicate time of shifting hormones. And, with only 4% of women orgasming most reliably from penetration alone, it’s an almost-guaranteed quicker, better, and faster way to get you there.
Toys that have variable speeds & intensities can be easier to maneuver, like the renowned Womanizer Premium. With Pleasure Air Technology, gentle air vibrations suck and massage to encourage blood flow and lubrication, delivering orgasmic results. Reinvigorate your libido—on your own terms!
Best Sex Toys for Couples
Nothing can deepen the intimacy within partnership quite like bringing toys into the bedroom can. When it comes to same-sex vaginal play, toys like the Dame Products Fin Vibrator For Fingers (which slide over your knuckles and secure to your fingers no matter how fast they’re going) can really up-level the experience. Similarly, if penetration is what you’re going for, Lovehoney’s Strap-On Harness Kit comes with two dildos and all of the fun.
If we’re working with penis & vagina play, a cock ring with an attached clitoral vibrator is pretty game-changing. Toy Hub’s Ride N Glide Couples Ring makes sure everyone’s in on the pleasure, stimulating both participants during intercourse. And of course, if you happen to be in a long distance relationship, that’s nothing a remote controlled vibrator can’t fix.
Best Sex Toys for Singles
Listen, you are your safest sex partner, and you know exactly how to get yourself there. Experts are linking the increased sales in sex toys to the increased rates of orgasms, especially for women! If you have a vagina, LELO’s SORAYA 2 delivers two orgasms in one. Targeting the clit and the elusive-yet-climactic G-spot, there’s very little need for a partner with a toy as luxurious as this one.
If you have a penis, don’t feel left out of the fun! Though less talked about, there are plenty of sex toys for men to choose from. Not only is The Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo masturbation sleeve an enhanced hand job with an adjustable design that fits to any girth, its open design makes it possible to wear during penetrative sex as well.
Bonus Pro Tip: How To Keep Your Sex Toys Clean
Amidst all the fun and foreplay, one thing is for sure: good hygiene is always the safest policy, and keeping your sex toys clean is more crucial than you may think! Disinfecting your sex-cesories is probably the last thing on your mind as you bask in post-orgasm afterglow, but not taking the time to do it could put you at risk for STIs, and affect your toy’s shelf life.
Most sex toys can be safely cleaned using a mild antibacterial soap and warm water. Wash them for at least 20 seconds and dry them with a clean towel, just as you would your hands after using the bathroom. Alternatively, LELO’s sex toy cleaner is alcohol-free and fast-acting, only requiring you to spray on, wait five seconds, and rinse off.
According to experts, anything related to sexual play, including cuffs, cock rings, vibrators, butt plugs, and everything in between, should be properly cleaned. It's also important to take into account the material and electronics of whatever device you're disinfecting; never submerge any motorized or battery-operated toys in water.
Sex Toy Takeaways
We're fortunate enough to be in a time where talking about sex toys and self-pleasure is celebrated rather than stifled. As recently as a decade ago, sex toys were considered taboo to talk about and shameful to own. As more women-owned companies bloom, and the conversation becomes more heavily platformed, we are reclaiming rightful ownership of our orgasms and letting our freak flags fly.