Sex toys have come a long way since you found that white plastic rocket ship-looking thing in your mom’s underwear drawer. But there are so many now, and so much technology involved, that it can get confusing. Never fear: we’re here to give you a comprehensive sex toy list of everything from anal beads to vibrators.
The Entries, A-Z
Anal beads are just what they sound like: a string of beads for your butt. They typically have a loop on the end so they don’t get lost. Add one bead at a time to give an increasing feeling of fullness. It’s traditional to pull them out slowly during orgasm for the most mind-blowing effect. Some anal “beads” are really a single-piece toy made of silicone, which makes cleaning up easier than with plastic beads on a string.
Ben Wa Balls
An ancient device, Ben Wa balls are spherical toys that go inside the vagina. You can use them during intercourse, or use them alone to offer gentle, teasing stimulation and strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor. Sometimes they have little bells or clappers inside! So that’s fun.
A buttplug is any sex toy that you insert into the anus that is meant to be left there for a while. They’re usually shaped like a rounded cone that tapers at the base near the opening, then flares out to a flange, which holds it in place. They can be made of silicone, metal, glass or really anything body-safe. People use them to enhance sensation during other play, to wear in public for secret sexy fun or for any number of other reasons!
Cock rings can be as simple as a rubber ring worn around the base of the penis, or can include multiple rings for putting the balls through as well. They can be made of rubber, silicone, leather, metal or really anything, solid or stretchy. Cock rings help intensify and prolong erections by slightly restricting blood flow. They can also provide sensation to the balls by pulling them away from the body during sex.
Cuffs & Gentle Bondage
You don’t have to be super kinky to enjoy a little light bondage. Cuffs fit around the wrists or ankles, restricting movement. Generally they attach to one another, and/or to something else, like a bedpost or a doorframe. Traditional metal handcuffs and manacles are the most well-known, but they can be pretty uncomfortable and hardcore. There are many cuffs now made of leather, neoprene or other cloth. Some are even furry.
A dildo is any phallic-shaped thing that you can insert for sexual pleasure. Probably the most ancient of sex toys, dildos have been made of wood, metal, stone, bone (yes, we went there) and other natural materials for millennia. Now, they’re mostly made of rubber or silicone, though glass and steel ones are still popular, if premium-priced. Some are shaped like realistic penises, others are simple smooth rounded-end tubes – and still others are shaped like dolphins or dragons or tentacles. A dildo can be used alone, with a partner or worn using a harness (see Strap-Ons).
The softer side of the hitty sex toy category, floggers are a good introduction to impact play. Floggers consist of a handle with many “tails” coming off of it; some may call it a “cat o’ nine tails,” but floggers tend to have more than nine, and to be gentler overall. They’re most often made of leather, but can also be rubber, nylon, or any number of materials that can be cut into long strips. Floggers can deliver a lot of sensation in the right hands, but they are also very forgiving: it’s hard to do any real harm with them. It’s also possible to just brush someone gently with the tails, or give them a thuddy, massage-like sensation.
Similar to Ben Wa balls, kegel exercisers describe a variety of toys that are inserted into the vagina in order to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. They are usually designed to go in and stay for a while, tucked past the public bone. The wearer can then squeeze and release their muscles on it to increase muscle tone and control.
Nipples are often erogenous zones, so many toys have been developed to take advantage of their sensitivity! Clamps are the most obvious, and come in various types. For starters, try the ones that look like hairpins, which you can adjust for the desired tightness with a sliding ring. Others, like cloverleaf clamps, only come in “tight” or “tighter” – so use caution!
These Vibrators are designed to be used between bodies during sex. Some of these also have remote-control capabilities (see Remote Control Toys), but others just have a slim profile so that they can stimulate both partners while they have intercourse. Some fit inside the body; others rest on the mons while a partner thrusts or grinds away.
Penis pumps don’t really enlarge your penis, but they do pump extra blood to the area and make it more sensitive for a while. The same is true of vulva pumps. These toys, which look a bit like a blood pressure cuff with a cup or a tube on the end, are for use before sexual activity, but you can also have fun pumping each other up!
Some toys are described this way, and are generally simply dildos or vibrators that have a shape like a beckoning finger. Since both the prostate and the G-spot are stimulated in a similar way, these toys can serve either purpose, by focusing sensation on that spot just about two inches inside and behind the front-of-body wall of whichever hole you’re working with.
Remote Control Toys
These are a type of sex toy that can be controlled with a button from across the house, or connected via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other technology to work from the next town over – or across the globe. Some toys even connect to each other, so one half of a couple can use their toy the way they like, and the other toy will mimic their motions for the other partner. See a rundown here!
Sex dolls may seem a little weird or jokey, but they’ve been around for a long time and have come a long way from the o-mouthed blow-up dolls you see at bachelor parties. There are now dolls made of realistic-feeling materials, as well as “real feel” butts with fuckable holes.
There are a wide variety of swings and slings available to enhance positioning for sex, some more expensive and complicated than others. They can either hang from a hard point in a ceiling or doorway, or from a frame. They’re great for feeling weightless as you’re being fucked, and, for the person fucking, to put the person just at the right height and position.
Sleeves & Masturbators
The equivalent of classic Vibrators for women, masturbation sleeves like the Fleshlight offer a soft yet firm tube inside a hard case, which can be used on a penis in place of a hand. The technology has come a long way on these, and many of them vibrate, massage or can be controlled remotely.
Strap-ons & Harnesses
A strap-on is simply a dildo used in a harness, which allows it to be attached to the wearer’s body. Classically used by lesbians, they’ve become more popular for “pegging” (a woman penetrating a man in the ass), as well as for use by men who have erectile dysfunction or who simply aren’t using their penis for intercourse for whatever reason. Harnesses come in several configurations these days: the classic thong style, a jockstrap style and now even full underwear with an anchor point in front. Thigh harnesses are also a fun toy, especially for people who love to grind on thighs.
The word “vibrator” traditionally refers to a strongly vibrating sex toy that a person with a clit uses to get off, but nowadays it refers to many things because so many toys vibrate! A mini-vibe can be added to many toys to enhance their sensation. A Buttplug may vibrate, and so may a Sleeve or Massager. There are so many different vibrators for different bodies’ needs now, whether you like to grind on something, insert something, have a toy “suck” you or use a vibrator while having sex with a partner.
Sometimes, a flat bed just isn’t quite right! The wedge is a large, firm, wedge-shaped pillow that allows you and your partner to find different sex positions with support. Other pillows and bits of furniture also exist to make sex easier and more fun – especially for partners of different sizes!
If you enjoyed this article, try out some further reading with Product Review: The Womanizer and The Woman’s Guide to Having an Orgasm for the First Time.