Advice on avoiding common sex toy shopping blunders!
(Use the code ERIKA for 10% off!)
Sex toy shopping can be weird. I’ll be the first to admit that. Our society’s attitudes toward sex and masturbation are weird, and it’s usually not often that we buy things that are going to interact with our bodies so intimately. But because they interact with our bodies so intimately, there are a lot of considerations that need to be made when purchasing your sex toys.
I see people make a lot of questionable decisions when shopping for sex toys because, frankly, they don’t know better. Why would they? It’s not like this is something we’re taught about in school. So today I, your friendly neighborhood sex toy vlogger, am here to pass on some of my years of wisdom.
This video is sponsored by the lovely body-safe sex shop Peepshow Toys, but I’d be giving all of the same advice even if it wasn’t. Here are five of the most common mistakes I see people make when buying sex toys.
1. Ordering from Amazon
One of the first things I tell anybody when they’re shopping for a sex toy is to avoid Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Groupon, and all those sort of sites like the plague. Amazon is the big one. I completely understand the impulse to want to buy there. You probably do a lot of your other shopping there, the prices are often low, and orders Fulfilled by Amazon are about as discreet as packaging can get. But there are some major issues that can come along with Amazon sex toy shopping that a lot of people don’t ever consider.
First of all, Amazon, eBay, and the like are absolutely rife with counterfeit sex toys. You may think you’re getting a great deal on an njoy Pure Wand, LELO vibrator, or other toy, but there is an unnervingly high chance that you’ll actually end up receiving a lower quality replica. These fakes can look so accurate that you might not even realize you didn’t get what you paid for, until it quickly breaks on you and the manufacturer refuses to honor the warranty because it’s not actually their product. Counterfeit toys are often also made from questionable materials rather than the silicone or stainless steel advertised, so you have no idea what you’re actually putting into your body. It’s a dangerous game.
Secondly, even if the seller is an approved retailer with genuine product, if the order is Fulfilled by Amazon you could still get a fake. Amazon warehouses apparently don’t separate the stock of different sellers. Every seller that claims to be selling a (Hitachi) Magic Wand, for example, has their stock thrown in the same bin. When you order one, someone at the warehouse nearest to you just grabs a box out of the big Magic Wand bin. It might not be stock from the specific seller you ordered from. That warehouse might not even have stock from that particular seller. It’s completely random — you’re basically playing warehouse bin roulette — and you could easily end up with a sketchy counterfeit toy.
Finally, I’ve heard rumors of people getting toys from Amazon that appear to have been previously used. I don’t think I even need to tell you how gross that is. Stay safe. Buy your sex toys from a trustworthy retailer.
2. Shopping for a Partner
I get so many e-mails that open with “I want to get my girlfriend a sex toy…” and I always just want to stop those people right there. Do not shop for your partner. Shop with your partner. Sex toys are such a personal thing — everyone has different needs and preferences, and the only person who can tell you what your partner might like is them. I can say from experience that buying something at random or that you think they’ll like without actually talking to them about it is likely to end badly if the toy doesn’t end up working for them. Best case scenario, you’ve spent a bunch of money on something they’re never going to use. Worst case scenario, you actually upset them by getting something way off the mark and making them question whether you actually know them at all.
Funny enough, the two main things I see people wanting to get for their partners — realistic dildos and rabbit vibrators — are honestly two of the least advisable choices I can think of. I’m going to talk about a lot of the problems with rabbits further down on this list, and realistic dildos, honestly, freak a lot of people out. If it’s not something they’ve specifically expressed interest in, don’t just whip out a big veiny dong and expect them to be delighted.
If you want to get your partner a sex toy as a present, get your partner a gift card or take them shopping and let them pick something out. Sex toy shopping with a partner is actually super fun, and they will always know their body and desires better than you do.
3. Buying Unsafe Materials
Something that a lot of people never stop to consider is what their sex toys are actually made of. I shout about dangerous sex toy materials all the time on this channel, and people are always shocked when I tell them that the sex toy industry in much of the world, including the US, is entirely unregulated. A large number of sex toys out there are made from materials like rubber, PVC, and all sorts of mystery meat soft plastics, which are often softened with toxic plasticizers and can harbor bacteria, viruses, and fungi in their pores. No one wants a bacterial infection or a chemical burn on their genitals. I have two previous videos all about sex toy material safety, so I really recommend checking those out.
The main non-porous, non-toxic sex toy materials you’ll see include pure food grade or medical grade silicone, ABS hard plastic, medical grade stainless steel or aluminum, and borosilicate or soda lime glass. Any sort of soft or squishy toys that aren’t made from silicone are almost definitely not going to be body-safe. Do your research and make sure the things you’re putting in your body are actually safe for your body. (And that goes for lube too! I’ll link my video on lube science and safety down in the description).
4. Rabbit Vibrators
Okay, there’s nothing inherently wrong with rabbit vibrators. Some of them can be great toys. I have a couple of rabbits in my collection that I personally really like. But I will always maintain that they are one of, if not the hardest sex toy to shop for. They are extremely anatomy-dependent, and because everyone’s bodies are different, a lot of rabbits aren’t going to fit a lot of people.
There are so many factors that need to be considered for a rabbit vibrator to work. Both the internal and external arms have to be the right shapes and sizes to hit where you want them to. Do you know the distance between your clit and vaginal opening? Do you know how far up your G-spot (or A-spot) is? How much or little pressure do each of those spots want or need? Both of the toy’s motors need to have the right intensities and types of vibration for their individual spots. Do you prefer buzzy or rumbly vibrations? Do you need stronger vibration externally than internally or vice versa? Not all rabbits let you control the intensities of the motors individually, and many have one weaker arm and one stronger one.
If you don’t know your body and preferences extremely well and know exactly what the vibrations, shape, size, and angle of the rabbit you’re buying is like (which is especially difficult with online shopping), then whether or not the toy is going to work for you comes mostly down to luck. And rabbits aren’t very versatile — if one doesn’t work as a dual-stimulator for you, it’s pretty much useless, because they often don’t repurpose well as a solely clitoral or internal vibrator. This is why I tend to advise people to just buy two separate toys. It’s generally less likely to disappoint, I think.
5. Base-less Anal Toys
The thing about anuses that makes them different from other orifices you might insert sex toys into is that it’s very easy for them to suddenly suck something in and refuse to let it go. Just ask anyone who’s ever worked in an emergency room just how often people come in because they’ve gotten something stuck in their ass. So often. So many people. Don’t be one of those people.
Sure, that straight, thin vibrator might be advertised as a prostate stimulator, but do not be fooled. If it does not have a flared out base to anchor it outside of the body, it is not anal safe. You might think you can keep a good hold on it. You might think you can push it back out if it goes in. But trust me, I have seen many an X-ray of sex toys stuck in the rectums of people who thought those same things, and you do not want to have to make that embarrassing hospital trip with a toy still buzzing inside of you. I’m just looking out for your dignity here. Make sure anything going in your butt is made for anal use and has a safe, flared base.
So those are some of the main mistakes I see people make when they’re shopping for sex toys. If you’ve made any others or have any other tips, leave them down in the comments! And remember that if you ever want sex toy recommendations or advice, send me a message on social media or through e-mail and I would be more than happy to help you out.
Thanks again to Peepshow Toys for sponsoring this video. Remember you can get 10% off at their site any time with the code ERIKA, and everything they sell is body-safe so you don’t even have to think about it.
As always, thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time!