Sex is good for your health, that’s a fact. An orgasm, whether enjoyed solo or with your partner (or partners), has a variety of incredible health benefits. The chemicals your body releases during orgasm – oxytocin, vasopressin, melatonin, and dopamine – reduce pain, even suppressing cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. These chemicals produce the overwhelming sense of relaxation, satisfaction, and wellbeing we experience following an orgasmic encounter, reducing the harmful influence of stress.
Endorphins do a body good and when these powerhouses of wellbeing are unleashed, beautiful things happen. You’re happy, your muscles are relaxed, and you’re sleepy. But mostly you feel fabulous and feeling fabulous is the basis of a healthy sex life. Sex toys offer another avenue of sexual satisfaction but also add an element of fun and novelty to your sex play, opening the door to more and better orgasms.
Because of sex’s ability to press the reset button on your overall wellness, it’s a key component of any wellness routine worth its salt. Adding sex toys to the party is a fun way to improve your sexual health, as well as to explore your own body’s sexual triggers and those of your partners.
Whether you’ve been playing around with sex toys for years, or you’re completely new to using them, you’ll want to know a few safety tips. The object, of course, is to ensure the longevity of your sex toys and your wellness and safety as you use them. Because sex toys are intended to elevate your sex play by adding a thrilling new element, using them intentionally and intelligently helps them live their purpose. And what is that purpose? To help you get to the “big O”!
The Mainstreaming of Sex Toys
There’s no question that the stigma once associated with sex toy play is no longer a barrier. In the USA, people of all ages, relationship statuses, sexualities, and genders now use them. Over time, the market for toys has grown to include something for everybody! Sex toys have gone mainstream, making them more accessible and less of a naughty little secret.
So, if you’ve been holding back, there’s really no reason to, now. Sex toy vendors are mainstream businesses, dispensing sexual pleasure and health aids to the masses, clamoring for a highly-personalized, custom orgasm. So, if you’re a little shy about buying your first sex toy, know that about half the population of the USA is using some kind of vibrator or toy.
Know What They’re Made Of
Like people, sex toys come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Whether you’re no stranger to sex toys or exploring your options for the first time, you will absolutely want to know what these toys are made of. Toys made of medical-grade silicone have become extremely popular and are free from common allergens. However, this doesn’t mean that medical-grade silicone is safe for you. Know your body and its reactions before introducing new materials to your sex play because even medical-grade silicone can cause a reaction in people with a sensitivity.
If you have a silicone allergy you can safely explore non-porous glass sex toys, as well as stainless steel and wood. Just be sure to keep in mind your body’s unique reactions to various materials. Because there’s nothing less sexy than a mysterious rash!
Careful Where You Put That!
Do not attempt the insertion of a square peg into a round hole. This basic rule applies especially to the anus. Exploring anal play is lots of fun but be careful what you’re inserting. Use only sex toys specifically made for insertion in the butt. Because the most common injury reported from sex toy play is the inability to remove a sex toy from the anus. Not fun (especially the emergency room visit.)
The vagina’s shortstop is the cervix, which is at the internal end of the vaginal canal. The anus, however, has no such shortstop, its trajectory continuing past the rectum to the GI tract. Any sex toy you insert should have a flared base, preventing total insertion of the toy.
Because of the muscles in the anus, toys not equipped with a flared base can be sucked right in, requiring surgical removal. Avoid this happening, friends! The surgeon’s disapproving glare will haunt you! Also, please use a personal lubricant while exploring anal play with sex toys. You’ll be glad you did!
When it comes to selecting a sex toy, the options are almost limitless. There are vibrators, dildos, vibrating cock rings, sex machines, and strapons. Each type of toy comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The key to choosing the right option for you is not only selecting the vibrator that can help you realize your sexual fantasies but also choosing one that’s the right “fit” for your body.
When it comes to vibrators, aesthetics are important. You may consider a larger vibrator for the privacy of your bedroom, but you may keep a smaller vibrator on hand for play on the go (for example, a finger vibrator or vibrating egg). When it comes to vibrators and other toys that can be used for penetration, be realistic about size and your capacity to accommodate that size.
You need to know your body and your natural limits. This is not to say that bigger isn’t sometimes better, just not if you’re a sex toy newbie. Start small and slowly evolve your level of comfort. Sex toys that are too big can cause injury – the opposite of a healthy sex life. So, don’t get too flashed out by the size of that huge, imposing vibrator confronting you from the shelf of the sex toy shop. Know your body and how to please it safely. And again, whether the vibrator you choose is daunting or modest, use lube for smooth, pleasant sailing!
Sharing Is (Usually) Caring
Introducing your favorite sex toy to your partner is a great way to deepen your bond. But don’t just jump out the closet brandishing that buddy. Talk about sharing sex toys with your lover before your clothes hit the floor and the entire caper will go infinitely more smoothly. Your partner may not be comfortable with the idea and no, reader- it’s not all about you! Be collaborative when proposing props and sexual accessories to your partner because collaboration is the basis of good sex! Have that loving conversation to clear the air. When you’re both comfortable with a new sexual practice, the sex is never going to disappoint.
Using condoms with sex toys is a simple way to prevent the spread of STIs (sexually transmitted infections). It also helps prevent bacteria from becoming an unwanted gift from one lover to another, causing unwelcome surprises like yeast infections. When sex toys aren’t cleaned properly, bacteria can hang around. But even when they’re thoroughly cleaned, bacteria remaining behind is entirely possible, so please use a condom with your vibrator to protect you and your playmates.
And even if you use a condom with your toy, you still need to clean it after each use. Your vibrator will likely come with care instructions, which advise you about best practices for keeping it clean. You may find it good practice to clean your toy both immediately before and immediately after each use. Just be sure that the solution you use to clean your toy (mild soap with water or a commercial toy cleaner) is thoroughly washed off before it’s pressed into action again.
A Healthy Sex Life
Sex toys are a safe way to explore your body and learn new ways of self-pleasure and pleasure shared with lovers. Sex is a crucial part of human health and should be included in any regimen that promotes overall wellbeing and balance in the body. With a little research and experimentation, you’ll find the perfect sex toy to elevate your love play with novelty, fun, and orgasms that send you into orbit! Choose the right toys, then use them mindfully and intelligently for the sexual health you deserve!