Sex Toy Sommelier: Help! None of My Sex Toys Are Sexy Enough to Play With My Partner

by Natalie Kiser

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Good Vibes Only Sex Toy Sommelier is our sex toy matchmaking and advice column at SheKnows. Whether you’re taking your first brave steps into the world of sex toys and sexual health accessories (welcome, it’s fun here!) or an old pro looking to add some new goodies to your existing collection (hello to you too!), Health Sex Editor Katherine Speller is here to help SheKnows readers level-up their bedside tables, toy chests and/or DIY sex dungeons with the tools they need to feel deeply satisfied — and give some pro-tips on how introduce some of these new toys and tools into your sex life along the way .

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Write in to let us know what you’re into, what you want to be into or what you’re in the market for via our hotline (we’ll keep things anonymous, of course) and we’ll do our very best to drop a range of toys and sexual health products that meet your tastes, wants and needs. While money certainly can’t buy you love, it can buy you orgasms — which can be just as good, TBH.

I’m a firm believer that sex is funny. Bodies are funny and weird and hot and gross and beautiful and we could all benefit from giggling more and taking ourselves less serious in bed and out. That being said, there are all sorts of things that can put us out of the mood, cringe hard or take away from the sensual vibes —  and our sex toys should absolutely not be counted among them.

Which brings us to this month’s aesthetically-minded ask:

I have had my share of sex toys over the years but they’re all these pink or purple bright colored things that just don’t feel… sexy? When it’s just me I don’t care but when introducing a toy to my partners I want it to feel as hot and sensual as possible. Any recs for me?

Pretty4Play

So while I do think there’s always a benefit to interrogating our feelings — i.e. why the pink and purple bright colored toys feel less-than-sensual in context with your partner vs by yourself — but, trust me, I do feel you. When introducing new toys with a new or existing partner, you want them to be as excited at the prospect as you are and that can mean maybe second-guessing whether a hot pink and veiny phallus or rubber duckie-shaped toy (it’s a thing, it’s cute and a little bit weird) are the ones you want to lead with. You want your toy to complement the mood you’re trying to set, for your partner to see it and think of it as an accomplice and not competition and for it to be something that seamlessly blends into the sex you’re having without it getting weird. That’s a natural thing to want.

Sexy can mean so many things to so many people and to some those bright colored fun boys are exactly their definition. But while you are never gonna prevent the giggles or the less-than-perfect hiccups in any sexual encounter  — and I’ll always advise to deescalate how much pressure you put on any one sexual experience! —  there are plenty of pretty toys out there that have the subtle, sensual design you might be craving.

Warm Up Mood Setting

In true sex toy sommelier fashion, I like to include something that broadens our horizons on what we think of as a “sex toy” while reminding us all that our most powerful sex organs are our brains. (I know, I’m an annoying broken record. But I’m also right.)

If what you’re craving is a sexual vibe shift, obviously I recommend talking with your partner about what is going to capture the energy you want: This can mean sitting together and talking about fantasies, what might feel hot and sensual to you both. If you’re feeling self-conscious about the toys already in your arsenal, there’s a good chance a conversation like this will alleviate some of those fears and make you feel more comfortable sharing what you already love.

(This is likely the most budget answer to your question, BTW.)

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Amazon

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For these kind of mood-setting, foreplay moments, I love a massage-friendly candle (LELO and Maude both have excellent ones) that offer the versatility of dim light and become a soy-based massage oil once they’re melted for a little hands-on action. If you do it right, this will scratch that sensual sexy accessory itch and open some doors to the good stuff: Communication and conversation about what’s going to feel good later on.

Stealth Stylish

Sex toy jewelry is a category of its own that delivers on what you’re asking: It gives you all the function of the toy you’ve been craving but elevates it just a bit. I’ve had Crave Vesper for a few years and it is absolutely the most conversation-provoking piece of jewelry I’ve ever worn out.

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Amazon

To be clear, it does look like you’re wearing a vibrator around your neck. Like, just a little bit. So don’t wear it if you’re going to be clutching your non-existent pearls over being asked about it. But it also looks like my sister’s favorite mid-2010s pendant necklace from a distance, so it isn’t ridiculous as far as statement jewelry goes.

But it is a pretty beautiful and simple statement to make — and allows you (and your partner, if you show it to them) to be in that sort of sensual frame of mind while wearing it, which is a cool multi-dimensional kind of foreplay on a night out. Plus, duh, it functions as a powerful and pretty dang effective bullet vibe when you want to play.

And I am fairly certain the color offerings (silver, rose gold) won’t disappoint or make you cringe.

Streamlined Neutral Faves

And finally here are some toys that work and work well for a variety of bodies and scenarios but are low-key designs, colors and approaches that won’t feel as uncomfortable to whip out with your partner or make you worry so much about killing the mood — since that worry can be and often is a fulfilling mood-killing prophecy.

We all know that there’s stuff that just works for us: the clitoral stimulator that gets us off immediately, the handheld vibe that’s ideal for travel and discrete play or the penis ring that helps prolong you or your partner(s)’ staying power. Luckily, they aren’t all hot pink or neon purple or designed like a bachelorette party favor. So I’ll leave you with a few that might land for you:

LELO Enigma

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This is a dual-stimulator toy that doesn’t get bogged down with the cutesy rabbit design. Enigma is powerful, satisfying and (despite a little pop of color) you can get a streamlined black version that flies totally under the radar.

LELO Tor 2

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LELO

For people with penises (particularly those newer to the vibrating toy game), Tor 2 i s classy and classic investment. While a bit price-y as far as penis rings go, it’s six modes, body safe materials and beautiful design make it a total stand-out.

Maude Vibe

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Maude’s aptly-named Vibe is a sleek, gender-neutral and body-friendly vibe that comes in some gorgeous colors (the green and clay are both *chef’s kiss*). They’re powerful as they are low-key, so I wouldn’t worry about the intimidation-factor when introducing it to a partner.

We’ll be back next month with another edition of Sex Toy Sommelier and don’t forget to send us your asks so we can help you find your perfect sex toy match. And in the meantime, check out 100 (yes, 100) sex toys we’ve recommended before to tide you over: 

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