BY ABBIE ACWORTH
The variety of sex toys is surprising. Sex toys vary from purely male or purely female sex toys to toys that can be used by both sexes. There are also some sex toys that can also be classified as sex aids or marital aids.
The Purpose Of Sex Toys
Some sex toys aid the man's erection, stimulate the female genitals to become more sensitive or provide a different feel to 'normal' sex. Other sex toys provide an 'environment' for variations in sex, for example so called orgy bed sheets. Sometimes they are used to help a person who has difficulty with unaided sex to achieve sexual satisfaction. However most sex toys provide a new way to directly stimulate the male or female genitals to achieve sexual satisfaction.
Using sex toys can provide new experiences and variation in the sexual experience. It can also provide a fantasy element for enhancing or revitalizing a relationship.
The usual expectation is that a sex toy provides direct stimulation of the genitals in foreplay and/or during sexual intercourse or as a means to obtain orgasm through only the stimulation provided by the sex toy.
Vibrating Sex Toys
Probably the most well known sex toys are 'vibrators' which, as the name suggests, provide stimulation of the genitals using vibration. They are mainly used to stimulate the clitoris, but may also be used to stimulate any other part of the female body or that of a man's.
The simplest of these are pencil or wand shaped (though normally thicker than a pencil). They often have an internal battery (or two) which powers a small electric motor. Sometimes the battery pack and controller are external and connected to the vibrator by a wire. This motor is fitted with a small, out of balance, weight attached to the shaft. As this weight rotates it throws the motor and vibrator into a small circular movement, which causes the vibration, you feel.
With a vibrator that has a controller, as the power is increased the speed of the motor increases and with it both the rate and strength of vibration. Both the strength and rate of vibration effects how stimulating you find the sex toy. The best effect may not be as strong and as fast as possible. The optimum settings may well change as your degree of excitement builds. To get the best results it is worth buying a vibrator that is controllable.
Different vibrators will have different characteristics and you may well find you prefer one combination much to another and your preference may even vary depending on which part of your body you are stimulating.
More recently electronic vibrator controllers have appeared which provide not only the static control of power/speed but also allow you to select patterns of power pulses and surges. These can be very effective.
There are also other vibrating sex toys such as butterfly stimulators and vibrating penis rings.
Other Powered Sex Toys
There are some sex toys that use other ways to provide mechanical stimulation. These usually depend on a motor that makes the sex toy continually change its shape, which provides a sort of rotational movement or makes it move back and forth. The back and forth movements are sometimes powered by an air pump rather than a motor. The movements have been used to create, for example, mechanical licking tongues, vibrators that 'penetrate' the vagina and mouth simulators to give a man a 'blow job'.
On a bigger scale and much more expensive, there are 'sex machines' that incorporate thrusting and vibrating dildos.
Combination Sex Toys
So far we have covered vibrating, moving and thrusting sex toys. As you may have guessed these are all offered in a bewildering array of combinations.
A common combination in many 'Rabbit Style' vibrators is clitoral stimulation using vibrations and vaginal stimulation using movement and sometimes a thrusting motion as well.
Many sex toys add varying textures to their surfaces; a dildo or vibrator may have ridges or soft spikes or a rippled shape.
Sensation Change Sex Toys
Some sex toys rather than provide vibrating or moving stimulation, change the feel of sex.
For instance there are a variety of sleeves to put over the penis to provide different sensations for both partners while engaged in penetrative sex.
There are rings that squeeze the base of the penis and/or tighten the scrotum that assist the man's erection and also changes his sensations. There are penis extenders and thickeners which may give a man's partner greater sensations during penetration.
There are a wide variety of lubricants that can significantly change the feel of sex.
There are PVC and Polyurethane bed sheets that are water and oil proof that can be used for slippery or messy sex.
Why Use A Sex Toy?
A good question is: why do people use a sex toy? Surely fingers, tongues, penises, clitorises and vaginas etc all provide great sexual stimulation and enjoyment.
Well, apart from therapeutic uses (eg erection assistance), sex toys can drive the imagination (being taken by a machine), provide variety (new ways to do old things), vary the stimulating effects in otherwise normal sex (penis sleeves) and some can provide experiences not possible with 'normal body parts' (particularly vibrating sex toys and electro-stimulation).
Where To Start
If you have not tried a sex toy before and don't yet have an idea of what you might like, try one of the simpler vibrators first. Most probably you will enjoy the experience and then start to wonder what other delights can be found with more sophisticated vibrators and other sex toys ... If you then find you do enjoy sex toys try out a few others and find what suits you. Above all, have fun trying them out!