In a time of sexual empowerment and agency, wellness products are a way to bring pleasure to the forefront—with or without a partner. Online shopping gives you the option to make a slow, informed choice in a non-judgemental environment so you can explore what you’re looking for as part of your playtime or self-care routine. This guide will help you plan your next sensory expedition from the comfort of your own home.
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What kind of different sexual wellness products are available?
The sexual wellness industry encompasses many different kinds of products, from those used for personal pleasure to those used for safer sex. Sex toys and other sexual wellness products are available to suit different preferences and needs.
1. External vibrators
An industry classic, external and clitoral vibrators use a rumbling motor to provide surface-level sensation from outside of the body. These wellness products come in all different shapes and sizes, and can be purchased with different settings, patterns, and intensity levels to suit different needs. Clitoral vibrators are often available with rechargeable or replaceable batteries, and tend to offer a smaller, more discreet option for use.
2. Wand vibrators
Another long-time consumer favourite, wand vibrators provide intense stimulation in a larger-format massage wand. These toys often plug into the wall. Cordless, rechargeable versions with the same intensity of sensation are becoming more common as well.
Newer to the market from brands like Womanizer (who first introduced Pleasure Air technology in 2014, bringing air pulse technology to the sexual wellness market for the first time), air pulse toys offer a unique, non-desensitizing type of external clitoral stimulation. These toys use rhythmic air pulses to create pinpoint stimulation that ranges from gentle to intense and runs more quietly than vibration-based products.
Because the sensation from these toys comes primarily from air pressure, not a high-frequency motor, they do not numb the area. This makes them a great choice for users who find that other toys make their erogenous zones feel numb after a few minutes (a sensation that dissipates quickly).
4. G-spot vibrators, dildos, and dual-stimulation toys
For those looking for internal stimulation, sex toys such as g-spot vibrators and dildos provide a sought-after feeling of fullness. These products come in a range of shapes and colours. Their designs plenty of variation in how discreet vs. how anatomically correct they look, and are offered in different sizes to suit different desires.
Popularized by shows like Sex and the City, dual-stimulation sex toys offer sensation both internally and externally, typically with vibration or air pulse features.
One common myth is that sex toys are mostly made for and purchased by cisgender women. In fact, sex toy consumers are relatively evenly split: a BBC Radio 4 report suggests that about 50% of men and 60-65% of women have tried using a sex toy.
When purchasing products marketed toward people with penises, designs typically include products such as cock rings and masturbator sleeves. Like any other sexual wellness product, it’s best to opt for selections that are easier to clean, and to maintain them with care.
Products like cock rings and penis sleeves can help users achieve and experience unique or intensified sensations. Look for options with soft, stretchy textures or vibration for an extra-special twist.
Anal toys are available in many different shapes and sizes. Anal toys are used by adults of all genders, and users tend to have the most success when they start small for their first purchase, then scale up as desired.
When purchasing anal toys, make sure to select something with a flared base. You want a toy that tapers off near its end, then flares back out to prevent the entire toy from slipping in and getting lost. If an object doesn’t have a flared base, then it isn’t safe for anal use.
7. Condoms, lubricants, and massage oils
Sexual wellness accessories like condoms and lubricants are important for a safer sex life. Make sure to use the right form of barrier protection for you and your partner. Then, pair it with a compatible lubricant to reduce friction.
Some materials can cause the breakdown of others, which can jeopardize the integrity of products like condoms and sex toys. Make sure not to use silicone-based lubricants on sex toys made from silicones, and don’t use latex or polyurethane condoms with oil-based lubricants. (When in doubt, reach for a water-based, glycerine-free personal lubricant! These are safe for use with all types of condoms and sex toys.)
Sexual wellness product features to consider
Long gone are the days when sexual wellness products just sat on the shelf. Today, sex toys and accessories offer plenty of different features, from app control to rechargeable batteries.
App controlled toys offer greater customization in sensation as well as greater connectivity for long-distance partners. Look for toys with app control to better connect with yourself or to pair with your paramour. Consider how each toy is powered, from eco-friendly rechargeable batteries to budget-friendly replaceable batteries, or even a traditional corded wall plug-in for products that pack a powerful motor. If sound level is a factor for you, look for decibel ratings as well as terms such as “whisper-quiet” and “Smart Silence technology” to select the most discreet option possible.
When considering the pros and cons of different features and factors, remember also that intimate skin is sensitive and permeable. It’s very important to make sure the products you’re using can be thoroughly cleaned. Opt for non-porous materials like pure silicone, glass, and stainless steel for thorough surface cleaning, and choose waterproof, splash-proof, or submersible products when available. Not only will these models of sex toys be easier to clean, but they’ll also offer a wider range of suitable environments for their use.
Caring for your sexual health and wellness products
Taking steps to ensure you’re having safer sex is paramount when it comes to intimacy.
Just like other internal-use products, it’s important to keep your sexual wellness products in safe, clean condition. Treat them like your own skin: Don’t share them with anyone you’re using barrier protection with, and make sure to wash your sex toys before and after every use with soap and water. Some consumers prefer to opt for antibacterial soap or spray-on toy cleaner, but the most important factor is to make sure that you clean your toys well. Regular soap is a safe, effective way to clean your sex toys. Choose something fragrance-free for sensitive skin and make sure to rinse and dry your toys thoroughly before using or storing them.
To clean your sexual wellness product properly, make sure to check the product’s instruction manual first—especially for products with multiple parts, controls, or a battery.
Battery-free, single-pour materials such as pure silicone, glass, and stainless steel can be fully sanitized on the surface level. This is especially important if there’s a chance that they’ll be shared between individuals. For this type of toy, try using the sanitize function of your dishwasher, boiling them in hot water on top of a soft cloth, or letting them sit in a diluted bleach solution before rinsing thoroughly.
Fill out the rest of your sexual wellness drawer with the appropriate condoms or barriers for safer sex practices, and when in doubt: add more lubricant. Water-based formulas work well with any surface or substance. Silicone formulas are longer-lasting, but may not pair well with all silicone toys. Oil-based lubricants and massage oils can provide a rich, pleasing sensation, but remember that they can’t be safely used with latex or polyurethane condoms.
How to shop for sexual wellness products with a partner
One of the best things about shopping for sexual wellness products online is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. You can take your time to talk to your partner about what they want, or ask yourself what you want! So, set aside a generous amount of time, then relax and begin to browse.
The most important part about choosing a sexual wellness product with or for a partner is communication. Ask them what kind of sensations they enjoy, or what specifically they’re looking for. Sex toys and accessories don’t function on their own; instead, approach each one as an opportunity for connection. They’re a great way to become closer with your partner. Every product is simply a tool to use to enhance your intimacy together. What you do with that opportunity is up to you.
Take the next step
Ready to explore your next bedroom accessory? You can find the right sexual wellness products for you online at Best Buy.