Did you masturbate today?
This is my girlfriend's greeting for me almost every time she enters my home (because any other greeting would be in poor taste).
And because I sleep with my favorite vibrator under my pillow (small but mighty), the answer is always a solid "yes."
Arousal and pleasure achieved through masturbation is pertinent to maintaining our sexual health. Nonetheless, safe sex (equally pertinent) is always better and still applies when you're sexing yourself. That said, before going rabid with your favorite rabbit, bullet, or whatever you're packing, let's go deeper to understand what this mean. Really, it's simple:
Stop. Being. Cheap.
It can be all too easy to simply request the most powerful, inexpensive toy in the building. However, pleasure is not a luxury but a necessity. With that said, we should invest in our sex toys with the same candor and care that we invest in our bundles, flattering jeans, and time spent teaching ourselves how to please others.
However, bear in mind that your orgasm can only be bought to an extent, as the amount of money you spend on a toy holds little proof of pleasure. Take it from someone who has tested some of the prettiest, priciest, and somehow reputable sex toys (I suppose not everyone likes to be shooketh after masturbation). Conversely, there's certainly a reasonable starting price point that ensures you find a quality toy, and spoiler alert, it's probably not the bullets found in the fishbowl on top of the counter.
To aid you on your mission to investing in a quality sex toy, I've consulted with some of the most sought after sexperts to help you choose wisely.
1. Be Materialistic
Womanizer 2go Clitoral Stimulator in Chic Black Gold
When I say "be materialistic," I don't mean in the most literal sense but do be picky and research what your toys are made of. If you are what you eat, then you're probably also whatever enters the orifices of your body as well. Right?
Dr. Lenae Saint John, founder of the Mamasutra, recommends steering clear of any toys with a "harsh plastic smell," as she stresses the importance of quality materials. She explains that toys with this odor are presumably "off-gassing" and thus she doesn't want it near her body. Meaning you probably shouldn't either. "I won't purchase an item if it's not made with high quality medical grade silicone, for example. It feels very nice to touch and it's body-safe."
We also spoke with Dr. Jess O'Reilly, Astroglide's resident sexologist, to get her take on the material we should look for. Her recommendations include the "use [of] 100% silicone or borosilicate glass toys to reduce the risks associated with pores." She offers ABS plastic and stainless steel as additional options, adding that silicone and glass toys are examples of non-porous materials and only require soap and water for sanitizing.
Alex Fima, founder of the Velvet Co. pleasure collection, seconds the emphasis on silicone. "Body-safe silicone is best. Other materials can break or fray more easily. Cheap silicone will also gum up if used with a silicone-based lubricant," he writes.
However, should you continue to use toys with porous material including jelly, plastic, rubber, and PVC, Dr. O'Reilly recommends using a condom with these toys when possible due to the difficulty of conducting a deep clean, given their porosity. She notes: "Even if you clean the surface or purchase a so-called antibacterial sex toy cleaner, bacteria can live in the pores."
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Featured image by Getty Images