How to Buy a Sex Toy

How to choose a sex toy that’s right for you, and other pro-tips for first-time sex toy buyers.

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The Quickie
4 minutes

Are you thinking about buying your first sex toy but not sure how to go about it? Stepping into a sex toy store or browsing sex toys online can definitely be overwhelming. With so many different products, shapes and prices, it’s hard to know where to start. These five questions will help you browse and choose with confidence.

Sex Toy Varieties

Question 1: What sex toy tickles your fancy?

Did you click on an online catalogue because you were intrigued by vibrators? Did your friend get a butt plug and now you’re curious too?

When choosing a toy, follow whatever it was that first peaked your interest, and let that guide your shopping journey. If you’re at a brick and mortar shop where you can play with display items, don’t be shy—turn them on, feel them up and learn how they work! As you learn, you’ll get more ideas about which toys are likely to suit you and which aren’t. If you’re not able to play with the toys before purchasing, read reviews from consumers who have tried them.

But what if you have no idea where to start or what you’re into? No worries, we’ve got a few suggestions for popular first-time toys:

Using a Sex Toy

Question 2: How do you want to use your sex toy?

Some toys are designed for solo use, and some are better suited to partner play. Do you plan to use it mostly by yourself or with a partner? Maybe you’d like the option to do both? Read online and ask the store clerk about different ways the toys can be used. (Think creatively here, there are often fun and naughty ways to use a toy that might not be advertised.) If you are planning to use your toy with a partner, make sure you talk with them before buying it—better yet, go shopping together!

If you are planning to use your toy with a partner, make sure you talk with them before buying it - better still, go shopping together!

Sex Toy Prices

Question 3: What’s your budget for a sex toy?

Sex toy prices range from super affordable to exorbitantly expensive. If you’re on a budget, and looking for an affordable starting place, there are a number of good toys for under $25. With a larger budget, you have more options; a high-quality vibrator can cost up to $200-300. Regardless of budget, consider starting off with something on the lower end of the price range and upgrading later when you have a better idea of what you like.

Sex Toy Materials

Question 4: What is your sex toy made of?

There are so many different materials that sex toys can be made of: plastic, rubber, steel, wood, silicone, ceramic, to name but a few. Silicone is a top sex toy material since it’s non-toxic and easy to clean, but it also tends to be more expensive. If a silicone toy is beyond your price range, go for a hard plastic one. Avoid softer, jelly-like plastic toys, however, as they can leach harmful chemicals and are much harder to clean.

Sex Toy Sizes

Question 5: What size sex toy should you get?

Your eyes can be bigger than your orifices! As a general rule it’s better to start smaller than to be overly ambitious. If the toy you bought ends up being a little on the small side you can still enjoy it. But if the toy you bought is too big then it’ll be uncomfortable and you probably won’t use it much. Remember, you can always upgrade to something bigger next time.

As a general rule it’s better to start smaller than to be overly ambitious… you can always upgrade to something bigger next time.

Cleaning Sex Toys

Question 6: How do you clean a sex toy?

To some extent, your cleaning routine will depend on your toys. If the toy has a motor, pay attention to how waterproof the toy is (or isn’t), so as not to damage it. If the toy doesn’t have a motor, you may be able to boil it for three minutes and be good to go! Special toy cleaner sprays and wipes which are convenient, but not necessary: Gentle soap and water is just as effective.

Don’t forget the lube! Sex toys are always more enjoyable when used together with a good lubricant. Read more about how to use lube here.

Best Sex Toy Information

Read all about vibrators

Learn more about penis toys

Find out what is anal play


Myths and facts

Setting the record straight.

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At, we know that few things are one-size-fits-all. Read on for insights from Pleasure Professionals and other experts:

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