Toys, the gift of love

Nowadays, if you ask a woman what she’d most like to receive from her lover, she’s as likely to say a sex toy as a bunch of flowers. Ever since the Jessica Rabbit first shot to fame courtesy of Sex and the City, sex toys have been a ‘must have’ item for women in the know. But when it comes to choosing the perfect sex toy for your lover, you might just need to approach things carefully.

If your partner already has a multitude of sex toys, chances are you’ll be able to have a full and frank conversation about whether she’d prefer a glow in the dark dildo, a dual-rotating vibrator or a pearl necklace designed to be used on her nether regions rather than around her neck. But if, like many women, she only has one vibrator (and that’s likely the Jessica Rabbit) you may feel embarrassed about broaching the subject of exactly which sex toy she’d like to try.

While every woman is different when it comes to sex toy preferences, and by far the best way to learn what your lover wants is to ask her, if you want to surprise your lover with a sex toy as a gift there are a few golden rules to follow.

To start with, don’t think that a sex toy has to be given as a present purely on birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s and anniversaries. It can even be most thoughtful if it’s given ‘just because’. Maybe your lover’s got her first weekend off work in a month; perhaps you want to thank her for a particularly sexy night you’ve had; maybe you’re going away on a business trip without her; or perhaps she’s feeling stressed and unattractive. If it’s the latter, team the sex toy with a massage (perhaps including some massage oil with the toy) so you can relax her before giving her the gift of orgasms.

And don’t think that it’s all about the sex toy. No matter how much orgasmic bliss a sex toy can provide, it’s unlikely to be met with delight by most women if it comes in packaging featuring scantily clad women and slogans such as “F&ck your p*ssy clean” (a genuine strapline from one delightful sex toy). Nowadays, more producers are going for the female market so you could find something in tasteful packaging. Alternatively, take the toy out of its box and substitute your own – and here you can really go to town with the extras you add, perhaps dried, scented flowers, a romantic and sexy message and even a bottle of chilled Champagne, as well as satisfying your curiosity.

When choosing your toy, don’t assume that phallic is best: after all, she’s got you for that. Clitoral stimulators can deliver intense orgasms and have the added bonus of generally being easy to use during sex. You can also get nipple vibrators (as opposed to the slightly scarier clamps) and, of course, anal sex toys, though opt for these only if you know your lover enjoys anal sex play, otherwise she might feel pressured into doing something she doesn’t enjoy. A vibrating cock ring is something that can give you both pleasure without breaking the bank too.

If you do decide to go for a phallic option, which can be useful if you both enjoy the idea of dual entry, then a vibrating sex toy offers the most scope. Just make sure that you use a condom on it and/or clean thoroughly between uses if you intend to use it for anal and vaginal stimulation. And never use anything anally unless it has a flared base or is otherwise designed for the purpose – you don’t want it getting stuck.

As with any gift, it’s the little touches that make the difference. If it takes batteries then make sure they’re provided: it’s no fun having a sex toy that you can’t play with immediately. You’ll find this option in the Lovers’ Guide shop. And if you choose something girthy that looks like lube may be required, in addition to foreplay, of course, then include a lubricant: water-based for silicone toys as silicone lube breaks silicone toys; and silicone lube for other types. Avoid oil or petroleum-based lube as it breaks condoms and can also cause irritation.

Finally, think about how you’re going to present the toy. Boxing it up and tying it with a ribbon then leaving it on the bed adds a sweet touch that can make her feel special – and there’s nothing to say that you can’t give her a bunch of flowers at the same time to add extra romance. Leave it for your partner to find, with a card, or enjoy unwrapping your sex toy together…

Posted in Better Sex: Pleasing Her, Sex