Sex Toy Shopping 101

Sex toys come in all shapes, sizes, colors, styles, features, and functions. Choosing the right sex toy for you, however, can feel a bit daunting. 

In this stream, sex educator and marketing manager of Excitement Adult Stores Sharin’ Peter gives a tutorial on sex toy shopping and the steps you can take to find the right sex toy for you

1. Find the right adult store. 

Find a store that makes you feel comfortable. Stores such as Adam & Eve, SheVibe, Excitement, Babeland, Good Vibrations, and Pleasure Chest can be welcoming and fun. Choose a store with an exchange policy so you can test a toy and return it if it’s not right for you. (Don’t worry, stores don’t resell toys that’ve been bought back.) If going into an adult store is too hard, you can always shop online — though don’t sacrifice quality and safety for cheap online products. 

2. Ask questions 

The staff are there to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so they can help narrow down your choices. To get an idea of what’s right for you, a staff member may ask some questions about your body, preferences, and interests. They may ask “What have you tried before?” to gauge your experience level and see what’s worked and what hasn’t. 

3. Do your research

Before buying a toy, read reviews of it online. Of course, every body is different and everyone will have their own experience with a toy. Getting a basic rundown on how people feel about a product, however, can be helpful. 

4. Narrow the categories. 

Think about the kind of experience you want. Do you want to create a sexy atmosphere? If so, maybe lingerie is what you’re looking for. Is it your first time buying a toy? Maybe you want something basic that isn’t penetrative like a cock ring. If you feel a bit more exploratory, check out the dildos and vibrators that come in varying sizes and intensity levels. You can also find sex toys for partnered play, and toys made specifically for various types of sensations. For example, you could get a sex toy for prostate stimulation or a masturbation sleeve shaped and textured like a mouth of vagina. Think about if you want to experiment with a kink. Perhaps you and your partner are exploring BDSM and want some whips or paddles or bondage material. 

5. Pick a toy that’s safe. 

Before buying a toy, make sure it’s been tested for safety and made of materials that won’t irritate your body. Toys made of such materials as silicone, stainless steel, ABS plastic or glass are better because they are non-porous and bacteria is less likely to get trapped in them. If you are choosing a toy for anal insertion make sure it has a base to stop it from completely going in so you can easily pull it out (and avoid trips to the ER). 

Choosing the right toy can take a bit of experimentation and research, but hopefully finding what works for you is a fun journey. You can also always try something and return it so long as the store has an exchange policy. With a bit of practice you may graduate to toys you’ve never even thought of using before. In the end, it’s all about fun and pleasure.

Video transcript

- Hello, hello, if you are watching, totally say hello. I would love to see who all is out there. So, I am Sharin Peter, hi there, and I am known as the vibrator whisperer, I'm also the sex educator and marketing manager and training manager for Excitement Adult Stores. And I'm super excited, I'm streaming live on right now, I'm also co-streaming live on Facebook, so feel free to tune in there and watch. If you say hello there, I will do my best to get back to you too. Hey Becca, Hey Ricky, good to see you guys, thanks for tuning in. Let me see if I can adjust this just a bit more so you guys can have a little bit better angle, there we go. So, tonight I am bringing you, oops, what's going on here? Ah, that full link thing, chat, here we go, okay. So, hey Clan, thanks for joining. Tonight I am streaming all about shopping for adult toys. I mean, I know it's kind of a basic thing but the reality is a lot of people don't know what to choose when it comes to adult toys. There's a lot of decisions ya have to make when you're shopping for adult toys, so I'm gonna take you through some of those decisions, see if I can help make it easy. And, you know, I have a background as a, I started working in the adult industry as a retail employee and just found that I just loved the work, you know? Getting to work with customers, it's more like therapy work than it is, adult toys or than as retail, I should say. But it's also a lot of fun and I've learned a few things in becoming a sex educator along that path and I'd love to share them with you. So, if anybody has questions out there, please don't hesitate to ask. You can type them in the chat or you can come over to where I'm live streaming to type them in there. Now, just a heads up, I usually live stream Monday nights on at 8:00 p.m. Eastern but that's gonna change soon. They are actually switching up the format of so that the content is a little bit more curated and it's gonna be a bit more planned in advanced as major events when we live stream. So, I'm very curious to see how that goes and see what people think, but I'm not gonna be hosting weekly classes on anymore. However, if there's interest, I mean, I could possibly host weekly Facebook live classes, I'm doing it for free anyway, so. Now on, if you are feeling helped or healed or enjoying what you're watching, there is a tip jar there, that's how they help support us as sex educators, but we really do this just because we believe in this information being available to the general public. It's really important stuff and a lot of people don't talk about sex ed or toys as openly as we should, so this is my little way of giving back and trying to do that, so. Awesome, all righty, so I mentioned that I work for Excitement Adult Stores, that's a small chain of adult stores here in Central Pennsylvania. We have stores in Harrisburg and just across the river in Camp Hill, also down in York and then over in Reading. You can find more about Excitement at I am not doing this as on the clock but I support Excitement. I love to drive people there because I really believe that they've got some great experiences for those looking to shop for toys and to get information, we've got amazing staff that really knows their stuff. So, in the meantime, I also have, you can go to and I am there so you can join me and if you have questions or if you want to get involved in teaching our classes or me being a guest at an event, I can do all of those things. So, just let me know and say hi. I'm gonna just check in on and see if anyone is out there. And I had one other post come in on my camera here, give me just a second to get back to that person because they were trying to join and went to the wrong place. Let's see if I can find it. Ah, that's okay. All right, anyway, ugh, this does not wanna stay straight for me. That's better, okay, cool. So, first thing's first, adult stores. They can be scary, right? They can be a scary place to go to. I did not go to my first adult store until, well I think I went in college for some Halloween costumes but I was with a group of friends and we were giggling the entire time. I didn't own my first vibrator until I was 26. My roommate at the time said, all right, we're going out to dinner for your birthday and then surprised me and brought me to Excitement to check out all of the awesome items and pick out a vibrator there. So, that was my very first time really exploring an adult store for the purposes of toys. And I gotta say, it can be really overwhelming, there's so many choices, right? I mean, there's a lot to look at, there's all these different styles and features and functions and you just don't know what ya need. So, that's why I'm here, that's why I'm bringing you this stream because it can be hard to choose what types of devices. So, I have here next to me, two baskets full of products that we sell. And I'm not trying to sell you guys on them, I'm just gonna show you the different types of items there are and the different categories. I've got like one thing from each category, to give you an idea of what's out there. If people have questions, feel free to pop in and ask, I would love to hear from you. But yeah, I'll take you through the beginners and things like that. And also what to do and not to do in an adult store. So, first things first is just don't be shy. I know that's really what everybody feels walking in the first time but it's really a normal place, we're just like any other store, we have cash registers and music playing and lights on and it usually smells good. So, most adult stores that aren't really seedy, porn stores with video booths and strip clubs in them, they're not scary places, they're welcoming and they're fun. So, go in with an open mind. Also go in expecting to ask some questions, a good store will have staff members that can answer questions for you and will help you to figure out what's right for your body. But when you're asking questions, keep in mind that by asking an employee at an adult store what is your favorite toy or your favorite item here or what's the bestseller? It's not really a relevant question because what works for me might not work for you. I'm still gonna ask you some things about your body and your preferences and your interests and that will help to guide the conversation to figure out what's gonna be right for you. The first question I usually ask of a new customer or a beginner customer, first timer is what have you tried? Because sometimes they will try toys without having ever visited the store or they've gone to a toy party and bought something small there or they've had someone give them something or a partner has had a toy to share with them. So I wanna know what you've tried and what's worked or not worked. Often, you try items and they just don't work, right? They just are not a good fit for your body. Don't be discouraged, that doesn't mean that toys aren't for you or you and your partner, it means that you just haven't found the right item. So, having that open mindset and that willingness to kind of keep searching till you figure out what you like is important. It's also important to know the types of things that you like. So are you someone that prefers more external stimulation, outside the body? Are you someone that prefers more internal, penetrative stimulation? Those are gonna different experiences, different reactions. And maybe you like both and that's the thing, we have things for both. So it's totally an option if that's something that you are looking for. But if you know that about yourself, that's good, if you don't know it about yourself, it's okay, we can still guide you and direct you to some better items or things that we know work well for a lot of different people. So don't be afraid if that's the case, we can certainly help find something for you. I would definitely recommend reading reviews, you can go online and find reviews. Now I will say that adult stores are a challenge with reviews, you're gonna find some people that have just absolutely flattering reviews but there are instances where we have people that are disrespectful as customers and we've had to ask them leave and often those disrespectful people are the ones that love to go post the negative reviews. So if you are in a store and you are being obnoxious in a way that is possibly shameful to other people shopping around you, so it's okay to giggle in an adult store, of course, like there are funny things you're gonna see, I promise you. But when you are making fun of the products and there's someone near you shopping those products with authentic interest, like that's rude. Come on, that's just rude. You are making them feel shame for their interests and if you are just giggling away because you're embarrassed by it, that's not a good situation. And we're not gonna immediately ask you to leave until it becomes a problem but that's just something to keep in mind is don't just go there to laugh and make fun of things. There are way more things to make fun of in this world. We call it don't yuck my yum, so don't yuck on my yum, whatever it is I'm into isn't what you are into and that's totally fine. Hey Hannah, good to see you, welcome, welcome. Yeah, so have any of you been to an adult store and what was your experience? Was it a comfortable environment? Was it creepy or weird? Was it not what you expected? Feel free to comment here, I would love to see what your thoughts are on that. And yeah, so what else? So other things to keep in mind is that we are a retail store, we have policies like what methods of payment and how we need to see ID. You know, don't come in thinking, oh, it's just an adult store, they're not a real business, that doesn't matter. No, we are a real business and we're a small business and so every single sell matters to us and is important. We do, at our store, we have unique exchange policies. And before you get scared off exchanging an adult item, we never resell something that has been brought back. We do offer them a chance to trade in their item for something else if it's not working for you or it's not working, defective too. So either one, if it's not working for your body or it's just not working in general, we have a 15 day exchange policy at Excitement stores. A lot of stores don't offer that, so be sure to check online or with the store when you come in, ask those questions because often they don't honor returns. But that's why we encourage you to ask us for help and advice because then we'll be able to consult with you and get you something that we think will really work well for you. We do tend to know the brands really well, we know which ones work best and which ones are shotty. We can tell you which ones that we've seen issues with and which ones have good corporate policies of the way they make their products and package them and all that. So, anyway, yeah, so that's a little insight on those, be sure to ask the right questions. Let's see, Hannah says, full blown panic attack visiting a store, I felt like all the dildos were jumping off the wall and attacking me. Oh my gosh, that's hilarious. Oh man, okay, so the dildos were not jumping off the wall to attack you but I understand how that overwhelming feel can be. I'm sorry you had a panic attack, I hope that maybe you visit another store to see if you have the same experience 'cause it's certainly not meant to be an anxiety inducing place. But it's also possible to shop online and there's nothing wrong with that. So the way you shop online is important though, there are sites that offer very cheap sex toys, Amazon, Wish, other third party, weird, Chinese companies, nothing wrong with China but some of those sex toys are very untested and you don't know how safe they are. If you're putting it in your body, you need to know those safety things. So buying from a legitimate adult company is gonna get you a lot better product and typically the warranty to back it up. So if you buy a brand name product on Amazon, there's really no way to guarantee that it is in fact that proper brand name and not a knockoff, there are tons of knockoffs online, so that's important. Buying from a company like Adam & Eve or Babeland or Good Vibrations or Pleasure Chest, those are great companies to choose from. SheVibe is another one and you also can buy from a company like Excitement. We stand behind our products as well, so it gives you a little bit more peace of mind knowing where you're getting your items. Let's see, who is saying stuff in Those of you that are watching on Facebook, I'm also live streaming on, you're welcome to join me there. So, Chu says, yep, welcome as a moderator, thank you Chu, good to see you tonight. Mickey Allen says, hey beautiful, fellow pleasure pro who works in the adult pleasure product industry, love your message, by the way, I'm totally digging your dress. Thank you, you like my little sperm and egg dress? I gotta be on trend, I love a good theme. And Mickey also says that, here in Texas we can't due to health codes, return items, I assume that that's what that is. And that's totally understandable, most companies don't allow that. And thank you too, for noticing the pattern on my dress. Okay, cool and Hannah, you said that you have never felt comfortable with toys, let me see if I can scroll back, never bought one. Okay, cool, so Hannah, you're actually a perfect person for me to chat with tonight because it might the right message that resonates for you, so I'm so glad you you tuned in. The person that has never bought a toy before, what are the reasons? Why do you not feel comfortable with toys? I can tell you a lot of people have told me that they feel like toys are replacing their partner. Or oh, you have a vibrator, you're not gonna need me. Or you've got a stroker, what good am I for? So that's just not true, it's just not true. So toys enhance, they don't replace, toys don't have relationships with you, toys don't have sexy talk and pillow talk with you. Toys don't have sensual touch in the way that human touch, you cannot replace human touch. Toys definitely can enhance and they can add, they can up the game for you, if that's something that you've never tried, it can be worth trying or worth experimenting with because you don't know what you're missing out on. It's like trying a new food or maybe you're someone that has never tried ketchup, can you imagine if you're like me and you enjoy ketchup on a lot of things, can you imagine if you had never tried ketchup? It's not replacing your main food groups at all but it absolutely enhances some french fries, am I right? So ketchup is like the equivalent of toys in terms of what you're adding. Now maybe you're a ketchup hater, I could compare salt and pepper or whatever else but toys just add to the experience, they enhance it, they bring out the flavor and the fun of your sexual experience. And they can be great for solo use or partner use and they don't replace anybody. Okay, there's lots of different categories of toys. As you're wondering into an adult store, you're gonna see a lot of different things. Most stores will start you out with a lingerie section at the entrance, so you are getting sort of a soft entrance, you're seeing things that you might see at the mall at Victoria's Secret or something like that in terms of the types of products, it's not so scary. And then it'll graduate into maybe some bachelorette items, games, books, that kinda thing that are not super intense. And then often you'll start to get into some of the intro beginner vibes or couples toys. Things that a lot of our couples that come in or individuals that come in that are on the shy side are able to stomach and check out without scaring them off too much. You're gonna see the more intense toys usually toward the back of the store or in a side room or something like that, whether that's toys for bondage, pain and pleasure, that kinda thing or it's toys that are of a certain size of dildos or different masturbators and dolls and things like that or even anal toys are sometimes towards the back. It just depends on the store and the way it's laid out but it's usually gonna have a softer entrance and the further back you go, the more intense things get. So that's good to know if you wanna keep up towards the front, that's always a good thing. If it's something making you nervous, baby steps, work your way through and along into what feels right for you. So you'll also notice there are lubes and there are lotions, massages lotions, things like that and toy cleaners. So those are always important things to take home and add on. All right, I did get a comment here, let me check in. Hannah says, I don't have a partner, I do masturbate but the idea of plastic just doesn't appeal to me, I crave intimacy, I just get so overwhelmed, I'm very vanilla. Nothing wrong with that Hannah, there is no, vanilla is not a dirty word. So don't worry about if you feel overwhelmed and if you don't like toys, that's okay. Some people love foot rubs and some people hate foot rubs. Right, they don't want their feet touched, so it totally is up to you and up to what your preference and experience is. But I will say that some people just never have given a foot rub a chance, so if that's the case, that might be an area to explore. All right, so let's talk about materials of toys 'cause this is pretty important before I jump into all the different styles of toys. Understanding what you're buying is important when it comes to something you're gonna put in your body, especially if it's going into the vagina or the anus, those two areas can be much more sensitive than the external genitalia, external skin of the rest of our body. So things to look for are body safe materials. Now here's the thing with toys, it's an unregulated industry, there is no requirements for packaging on toy products in the adult industry, they all say for novelty use only. And the reason why is that they can get away with almost anything in their products in that case. Now, do they test them to make sure that they are not gonna be potentially harmful? Now they do, when the toy industries first started to grow, they never tested things, they just made whatever was cheep and people would buy. So it's come a long way, a lot of consumers are demanding more of their toy companies, including better testing and better product materials and manufacturing standards. But there's still not regulation, there's lots of other things that are, medical devices or other things that go inside the body that are highly regulated but adult toys are not one of them. So need to be a picky consumer, be picky when you shop. Look for materials that toys are made of that are nonporous. Why do pores matter in toys? Well pores are where bacteria can get trapped and if you're not cleaning your toy really, really well and even when you, some toys, when you do clean them really well, they can still hold on to that bacteria because they have these little micro tears or micropores in the toy material. Now that bacteria is not always unsafe 'cause often it's your own body bacteria, it's not a huge deal but if you're someone who has a lot of irritation or issues or yeast infections or just like general problems after using toys, you wanna be sure to have body safe materials. Now there are some materials that are slightly porous that are a good option for an intro toy or for an item if you wanna see if you like it before you invest in something that is of better quality. So keep that in mind that it's okay to buy something and use it for a little while and see if you like, kinda treat it as almost, not disposable, but short life span and then upgrade to your better, premium product that cost a little bit more but you know you'll like it based on what you experienced with the cheaper item. There are also body safe toys, nonporous items that are very affordable now. So look for companies like Cal Exotics and Blush, they make really good products that are very affordable. Okay, sorry, nonporous items include silicone, that's pure food or medical grade silicone is what we generally look for, if it doesn't say that though, just pure silicone. And by the way, you can flame test a toy, you can actually light it on fire and if it burns or melts, it's not silicone. But you can also look up reviews on toys to see what people say, if it says like siliskin or siligel, guess what, it's not silicone, they're just using the sil as a marketing tactic. Silicone is what you're looking for, that's gonna be a soft, firm texture. Here's a toy. So this is the Mimic by Clandestine Devices, it doesn't look like a really explicit toy at all, right? It's made of super soft, supple silicone, like, it's a very velvety feel, it's very smooth. It fits nicely in the palm of your hand and actually sits against the vulva really nicely. But this stingray thing is made of silicone and then a little bit of ABS plastic on the edge. ABS plastic is another nonporous material, silicone, ABS plastic, metal, like stainless steel, some aluminum too and then glass, glass. And there are a couple of other toys like really well coated, high quality wood toys or crystal dildos, some of those are nonporous too, not all of them, so it's important to do your research if you're buying something like that. Devices or materials that are slightly porous, okay, anything that is jelly and color. I picked one out here. So see how this is like kind of clear? It's like a jelly, clear. Now if you have a toy like this at home, don't freak out, this toy is not gonna kill you. It's really okay but if you find that every time you use it, you have irritation, you might wanna switch to a different toy. If you find you have no issues with irritation, you're fine, all good. So that is kind of the idea is if it's clear or jelly-like, it's typically made of TPR or TPE, it's thermoplastic elastomers, I can't remember what TPR stands for with it. But anyway, they are often like a soft plastic or a soft, rubbery plastic and they do have the ability to get pores in them. Now they are often safe for use with a single person but if you're someone that shares toys with anyone else, you want to definitely use a condom with it. You also wanna store these toys separate from each other, if you store jelly toys against jelly toys, over time they're gonna melt together. And the most important thing with jellY toys or any sort of non, porous material, not nonporous, porous material is if you notice a change in texture, a change in color, a change in smell, throw that away. You don't want to keep that. Natasha, I see your question, I'll get to you in just a second. Yeah, so throw it away if you see that. Now that being said, there is not solid evidence that these toys are dangerous. So if this is the toy you want, cool. Like, I'm not gonna shame you, you do you. You choose what you want but know your risk or know what you're getting into. Now this material is cheaper to make which is why it is often used in toys and has been more historically but you're gonna see toys migrating more toward, well I'll just hold up this again. The silicone, it's gonna be an opaque material in most cases and it's a super smooth, soft feel, it's very flexible, some are more flexible than others, some are more squishy than others. But there's other alternatives of porous toys, include some that feel very skin-like. In fact, anything that is usually a stroker for male masturbation or penis masturbation, rather, is usually very squishy and flesh-like. So you can kinda grab it and twist it all around and that is gonna be your, that's also often TPR, TPE and that squishiness is great but it has some oils in it that help keep it feeling skin-like. And those oils are not always great going into the vaginal wall because that's a mucous membrane, a mucosal membrane and it absorbs to and from with different liquids or oils or things like that can kinda clog the pores. But guess what, this is a penis masturbator, so it's for external skin, it's not gonna clog the pores of the penis 'cause that is not a mucosal membrane, only inside of the vagina is. Inside the anus is not a mucosal membrane, exactly, I mean, it could be, it does pass some secretions and liquids but it's not nearly as sensitive of an environment as the delicately pH balanced vagina, make sense? If you have questions, happy to answer further. I'm trying not to get too science-y. Okay, Mickey, I am so anti-jelly, can you convince me otherwise? Some people love jelly and I'm not opposed to what people love, I'm not gonna yuck your yum. I just want you to know the reality of designs that we know so far, that's all. Admin Natasha asked, serious question, are ovipositors porous, have you sold any of those, any personal, professional opinion on them? So, Natasha, great question. I don't know a whole lot about ovipositors, ovipositors, ovipositors. I know what they are, I've never sold them or played with them in person. I believe a lot of them are sold by companies that make silicone dildos and my guess is that they are also the device that deposits it. Okay, ovipositors are essentially a dildo that you use but it has a little hole in the top where you can insert an egg. Not a real egg but like a special oviposit egg that's usually made of a jelly material. And you can insert the egg, a body safe jelly, and then you use the dildo and vaginally, typically or I guess it could be anally too. And then as you're using it, your muscles squeeze around it, it deposits the egg inside your body and your body warmth will break down the jelly material and that will eventually like ooze out, I'm pretty sure that's how that works. The device that delivers the ovipositor is gonna be most likely silicone, and that is absolutely nonporous and body safe. The egg itself is made up of a special body safe jelly. I don't know enough about the eggs, ugh, I even hesitate saying body safe jelly, I'm not sure, because they might be more, they might be full of glycerin or things that help give it that jelly texture that are maybe not the best for insertion, but if it's what you're into and you don't have issues with it, cool. You know, some people's bodies respond differently to different products, you know? So, that's what I would say there. I'm curious if you have had any experience with those or know anything further or if anybody else watching out there does. Okay, so, we talked about jelly type materials, we've talked about skin like materials, we talked about silicone. The other options will be ABS plastic, which looks like, ABS plastic looks nice, it looks like the, I'm gonna show you a few toys in a minute. Something like this, so, this is the, let's see. This is the Hello Gorgeous Collection vibe from Blush and it is a pretty basic beginner style vibe. I say beginner just 'cause it's really simple, it has a twist base that turn it on and off, it has ABS plastic on the shell. The paint on it that says Hello Gorgeous is actually under a full coating, so it won't rub off or anything like that. And it's got some good kick to it, good vibration to it. So, ABS plastic, this can be used externally on the clitoris and labia, it can also be inserted and used internally. So, yeah, just a really simple little affordable vibe that runs about $17. So, that ABS plastic is a nonporous material. And then, the other nonporous materials I love are glass. So most of the glass that we sell is what's called borosilicate glass, which means it's tempered so that is less like to break. Now, if you drop this on a tile floor, yeah, you're gonna shatter it, but in most cases, dropping it on a hardwood or other types of surfaces, it's gonna be fine. So this is a really pretty Cristalino brand, hand blown, glass toy. It is called the Champ. It is designed for an easy handle and G-spot play, like right in here. So, yeah, it's an awesome little toy and it feels really good. Glass inserts nicely, it has some nice weight to it. It can be dipped in warm water or cold water and that can be super fun. So, yeah, thanks everyone that's watching me on Facebook, you can come join me on, that's where I am live streaming right now and you can also follow me at SharinPeter on Instagram and you can find my website That's my sex education site, so, anyway. Let's see, that was glass, I don't have metal with me today, but metal, stainless steel is another awesome, nonporous and body safe material. So that's something to keep in mind in terms of body safety. Okay, so, types of toys you might encounter. Now, I did show you this little Hello Gorgeous one, this is kind of a basic simple vibe. The other basic types of vibes and these are mostly for vulva owners, I would not insert this one into any anal orifice because it doesn't have a flared base. You want something that's gonna be like a T shape or a big round wide section cup at the bottom, so that it doesn't get lost inside, okay? That's important, we don't want you to go to Sex Sent Me to the ER because of me. It's not on me you guys. So the other really awesome basic types of items would be often, like, bullet vibes or like pocket rockets. So these are gonna be small handheld devices that are really meant for external use on the clitoris and the labia or even the taint or under the shaft of the penis, right near the frenulum. But mostly it's for vulva owners. In terms of using it. This is what we call like a pocket rocket style, where it's got a really nice strong motor here, it's battery operated and it's got like three different heads that you can put onto the toy. So, these are gonna be very strong, they often only have like one speed, but they're a very affordable option for a lot of power that's handheld. There's also toys that are like bullets, where, oh, I dropped it underneath, that's right. Bullets with a cord, so you might have seen these, these are more classic style. Now this is also a very strong bullet and this thing has a dial you can turn up, and a handle, but there's a cord that connects, if you can see there. Now, that cord sometimes breaks and it becomes disconnected. So, it's not one of our more recommended toys but it is one that a lot of people have had in the past and they're like, oh, I just love this one, I wanna replace this one. Okay, cool, no problem, this is all ABS plastic, be sure to clean really well in that seam but I mean, I'm not gonna tell ya ya can't use your favorite toy. They still make them for a reason, they're still popular. Something a little more discreet is like this, like a lipstick vibe. So, that's got a silicone tip, it's ABS plastic handle but a silicone tip that's gonna feel really nice and soft and you could easily hide this in a makeup bag and get away with it, from any prying eyes, right? So that's one to keep in mind, is like, look for ones that look like other things because they can be a little bit more discreet, if that's something that you're looking for in your toys. So those are what we call clitoral stimulators, external stimulators. Here's the deal, 70% of females or vulva owners, if you will, I like to say vulva owners because not all people with a vulva identify as female and not all people with a penis identify as male. So, that makes it a little more inclusive, but 70% of vulva owners need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. So why not use a vibrator? Why not use one to get things kicked up a notch there? And either get the job done quickly or more intensely or whatever you're thinking of. So, I totally encourage vibrator use because of that. Whether it's masturbation or partnered play, but I'm sorry, typically hands and tongues don't do what a vibrator does. A vibrator doesn't do what hands and tongues do either. So, both are good, but they are different purposes. And you know, something a little more modern, this is gonna be a clit stimulator too. It looks like a stingray but it is designed to sit right nice against the clitoris and vibrate against the clitoral hood and the glands of the clitoris and also hit the labia on the sides. So, something like that can be a really nice option, that it's a little more ergonomic, right? This toy actually, some of you know this already, but it was designed by a former employee of our store, Kim. So yeah, I'm always super excited to show off the Clandestine Mimic. They just came out with a new version that's even more powerful too, so I can't wait to get that one in stores. So there's external stimulators and I do have some other ones, but I don't really feel like we need to go through all of those. And then there's penetrative toys, so somebody asked me recently, what is the difference between, what is the difference between a dildo and a vibrator? Can anybody out there answer the difference between a dildo and a vibrator? I'd love to hear what you have to say. So yeah, tell me what the difference is between a dildo and a vibrator, and yes, they can be used interchangeably sometimes. So, see if you can define it. Always Mickey said, I know when someone who needs glasses used them to increase their possibilities, yeah, exactly. No one, absolutely, no one is gonna give you crud for wearing glasses just because you don't see as well. No one should give you crud for using a vibrator because it helps you orgasm better. Like, whatever, it's just a device that stimulates nerves. It's not like this big thing, it's just, it's a nerve stimulator, okay, yay, let's use it like that. Oh, all right, so, penetrative toys. Now this one was kind of penetrative, it could be penetrative. The glass that we looked at could be penetrative, right? Mikey says one vibes, one doesn't. So, very, I think it's very close. JC says a dildo doesn't vibrate, a vibe can be a dildo but a dildo can't be a vibe, like the square and rectangle thingy. Yeah, absolutely, so a vibrator is any toy that has a motor for vibration in it, whether it is an external toy for clitoral use only or an internal toy like a g-spot vibrator. It could be either of those. A dildo is typically used for penetration, so you're not gonna call a clitoral toy a dildo. This isn't a dildo, dildos are for insertion into the body. So, things like this might be built a vibrator and a dildo, 'cause it can be used for insertion play. Dildos don't have to be turned on for vibration while being used as dildos or they may not have vibration at all. It can be a totally separate, as my favorite little Pride dildo here. So this is what would be considered a nonporous, silicone dildo with a suction cup base, you can see that at the bottom there. That is that flared base action there and these are items that are, you know, they don't vibrate, but they can still offer pleasure. So it totally depends on what you explore and what you want and whether you want vibration or not. Some people can't stand vibration and that's fine, you know. Some people don't like pizza, I don't understand them, but they don't, so, weirdos, but no, I'm kidding. I'm not yucking your yum. So, anyway, you get the idea. What'd we hear from Hannah? I'm being so honest, I get an intense orgasm when I masturbate with just my fingers but I think it's just clitoral, but it's just not the same as penetration. Oh, it won't let me read the rest, here we go, penetration with, I'm sorry, I can't read it. See if it shows me now. Oh, there it is, penetration with a partner. I've started thinking that I've spoiled, ruined myself from masturbation. Okay, Hannah, you have not ruined yourself from masturbation, my friend, my love. That is just not true, our bodies do sometimes become accustomed to a certain kind of stimulation, but you are by no means ruined, you are not ruined, okay? We do tend to get into habits where we do the same thing over and over again, and it can sometimes be good to break those habits and try things differently, you know? So, don't be afraid to try masturbating in different ways. Don't do the same thing that's always worked for you, try changing positions, try doing it in the bathtub, try doing it standing up or with an object inserted, safe object please, no ER visits on my watch! But you know, do it in different ways and that can help you learn to explore other ways of play and other ways of pleasure and then it can help you tap into those other methods of pleasure through partner play or penetration. But the reality is, too, our society teaches us that we should as women, or vulva owners, that we should have orgasms from penetrative play and guess what, that's just not the reality for the majority of women, the majority of vulva owners. So, those with vulvas, 70% of 'em need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, so don't necessarily assume that penetration's gonna get you there. It could feel amazing, don't get me wrong, but, you know, you gotta keep in mind that there are many other ways to play and to masturbate and to orgasm with a partner or not, all the things. Take that pressure off yourself of penetrative orgasm, because it's not a thing for most people, or it's not a thing without clitoral stimulation, too. Francisco Chico, good to see you buddy! Vulva owners knowledge bombs, yeah. Like I said, vulva owners, I use that because not all people with vulvas are women, there are people who identify as men or non-binary or gender fluid that have vulvas. So, I like to say vulva owners and penis owners, it's a little easier way to say it. Hannah, if you wanna message me at or Facebook message me later, I can give you a few more tips about, you know, orgasm and penetrative sex and things like that. There's a whole lot of knowledge out there, I can recommend some books or podcasts that may be able to help you too. Okay, cool, Mickey, I love the new Pride line too, so yes, awesome. Love, love, love the Pride line. Blush had, well actually, the Pride line from Colors is like these awesome multi-colored toys. The company Blush has also come out with Pride dildos and butt plugs that are, they match the Pride flag. Not just the rainbow, but other identifying Pride flags. So there's a trans one that's pink, blue and white and there's a gender fluid one, there's a BDSM one, there's a lipstick lesbian one. There's just a bunch of different ones, pansexual ones. So, yeah, a lot of different identities being shown in the different dildo stripes, which I think is just fantastic. Mickey says, it's also important to remember that sex doesn't have to culminate an orgasm, sex is much more fluid than just the O. Yes, preach Mickey,I love it, I love it, yes. So, so often we think about sex needing to end in orgasm and for a lot of people, that's not their experience and then they're disappointed by not ending in orgasm. So, let's reframe things, one of the analogies I love to use and I'm so sorry, I don't have the name of this, maybe I can look it up as I go. So we think about sex as rounding the bases, in fact I was just on a podcast interview yesterday, talking about this, but there is a better analogy, sex is pizza, let me see if I can find it. Al Vernacchio proposed in a Ted Talk that sex needs a new metaphor and he proposed that sex is less like baseball, of hitting the bases, you know, first base, second base, third base, home run, that kinda thing, and more like pizza. So, where's the difference? Hitting the bases is all about achieving and scoring and you know, hitting levels and goals, it's very goal oriented, whereas sex shouldn't always be so goal oriented. Yeah, orgasms are great but the rest of it feels amazing too and if we focus only on the orgasm as the goal, we're gonna miss out on the experience of that touch and sensation and intimacy and connection and the enjoyment of it. So, instead of bases, Al Vernacchio proposes that sex is like pizza. And when you decide if you want a pizza, you ask somebody, hey, I feel like eating pizza, you want pizza, you want to share a pizza? You're asking somebody if they want to engage in this with you and they want to share this experience with you. And then your next question is, what kinda pizza do you like? You know, do you like all the veggies, do you like all the meats, do you like, you know, a plain pizza, a plain jane vanilla pizza, ya know? So, asking what you like is like asking your partner, you know, what do you prefer in bed? Without passing judgment. I may like pepperoni and mushrooms, but I am not gonna judge you for wanting plain cheese. If that's that what you're into, that's what you like and I'm not gonna shame you and say you have to like pepperoni and mushrooms, you're missing out. No, I may want you to try a bite if you never have, just because hey, try a bite, see what happens, see what ya like. Experiment, experience new things but it's not, you know, it's not the same as saying, oh, we both have to get to first base and second base and third base and come on home and go all the way, all these things, it's just not a good analogy. Pizza, instead, we share it, we enjoy the experience as it's happening and at the end, we feel satisfied, we stop when we're full. Sometimes we eat a little more and then we stop, butyou know, we stop when we're full and no one judges us for not finishing the entire pizza, right? No one should judge you for not finishing sex with an orgasm, because even if you don't have an orgasm, it still feels amazing, right? And sometimes orgasms just don't come on that day, it just might not be a good day for it. So, that's okay, those are all appropriate awesome things. But if we start to share pizza or share sex, like we share pizza, I think we'll all get a lot further in this world, in terms of consent and making each other happy and being, you know, really mindful and appreciative and experience oriented people. So, yeah, that's sex as pizza. Go check out the Ted Talk about that, you can just Google sex is like pizza and you'll find it. It's a good one. Okay, back to toys, so we talked a little bit, thank you for the tip, whoever gave a tip. Back to toys, we talked a little bit about external stimulators and penetrative toys, so penetrative toys are dildos often, we call them dildos, but they could also be butt plugs or prostate toys. They could even be urethral sounds, that a thing, I don't wanna scare you guys away but some people are into that. But penetration is a different concept than the external. Sometimes the vibration is similar, sometimes it's not. With vibration, generally, we're speaking about things that are, the toy reviewers and people in the industry tend to talk about things as either buzzy or rumbly. And the best way to test if a toy is buzzy or rumbly when you're in the store, stay tuned here, I got a good tip for ya, okay, you're ready? The best way to test is to take the toy and put it up to the tip of your nose. If, on the tip of your nose, you feel it's like making you wanna sneeze or, you know, really kinda annoying on the tip of your nose, it may be that it feels annoying down on the clitoris and labia, too. High pitched vibrations tend to be buzzy, like, high pitch, and they can be a bit more numbing and less pleasurable than deep rumbly vibrations that are more like bed shaking. Deep rumbly vibrations, you're not gonna feel just on the tip of your nose, you're gonna feel it spread out, starting across your cheeks. So, you might try different parts of the toy, 'cause different parts of the toy may have different experiences. For example, the tip of this toy, and the edges flutter and have a little bit more vibration than the very center, even though that's where the motor is. However, this spot, I think the motor is actually right here. This spot is where it's most intense and most rumbly. So, yeah, bring a face wipe if you need to or whatever, but don't be afraid to touch it to the tip of your nose. And you'll feel what I'm talking about, in terms of rumbly or buzzy. And that can help be a guide for whether or not you're gonna like the toy when it's down there, okay? So, that being said, there are toys that are super rumbly. Made by Fun Factory, Fun Factory makes very high end toys, they often are insertable, not all, but most are. And they have like a really deep rumble that you don't typically feel in toys designed of this shape that are lower price points. So, highly recommend something like Fun Factory. I don't know if you can see just how much it's vibrating here. Kinda see it on the, yeah, yeah, anyway. It's definitely going and it's pretty quiet, it's a nice flexible soft silicone. This is the Lady Vibe by Fun Factory. You do pay a lot more for Fun Factory items, that's because they're made in Germany in a factory where they pay their workers really well. And it is a really quality silicone and really quality products. The amount of Fun Factory toys that I've heard of that have broken is like so low. So, yeah, they're really good investments if you're looking for an investment piece. But this is gonna last ya a lot of years, it is water proof I believe and it's rechargeable. So, you wanna think about batteries versus rechargeability. Are you wanting something where you're gonna need to, you know, not forget to buy the batteries when you're leaving the store? Or do you want something that you can plug into a USB charger and keep it topped off? One of my favorite toys in terms of rechargeables, is this Magic Wand rechargeable. Now you may have heard of the Magic Wand before, it's had its hay day on Sex in the City, I'm pretty sure. As did the Jack Rabbit but this device was originally called the Hitachi Magic Wand and this one's a rechargeable one. So, it's cordless, but one of my favorite things is, I hate when a rechargeable toy dies 'cause I can't just easily pop new batteries in it, I have to wait for it to recharge and I hate that. Pet peeve, maybe I use my toys too much, but that's another story for another day. But this one you can actually plug in and keep playing. You don't have to wait for it to recharge up, it will work as you are playing. Now, this one has a big giant head that is super rumbly. So this is for really intense play. It can rumble like if you're touching it to one part of the body, you can feel it for like a foot distance. Outward, like six inches on each side, I would say. You can kind of feel, if it's here on my cheek, I can feel it up here, as well as down here. So, you get an idea of just how intense a wand can be. Now this one has four settings and it also has patterns, which the previous Hitachi Magic Wand that plugged into the wall did not. True story, I had two of the plugin types, years ago before I worked for a sex store and one of them broke, the head broke and it just stopped vibrating as strongly. And I sent it back for warranty and they sent me a new one and that one smoked. Like literally, I smelled smoke. It was a little bit scary. And also I maybe should back off on my toys, so. But what I learned was that, you know, different models have different features. I've had other Magic Wands that have lasted way longer. So it's sometimes, you just got a bad manufacturing batch. So don't necessarily think that the company is all bad, if the today break on you, these two broke in different ways, so I knew that they were different issues. This new version they have is even stronger than the plugin one. So, highly recommend that, and wands also come in other shapes and sizes. So this is a wand style toy as well, you can see it has sort of that big head with a neck, that's what was referred to as a wand. This end is actually insertable too. So this is an external toy on top, and an insertable toy on bottom. So you get best of both worlds with something like this. This is made by Nalone company. There are also like attachments to one, so you can put something like, oh, this is hard to see in the light, something like this on the head. It's got like a nubby bit that's smaller than the big wand. And then it has this like flutter ridge that can sit on top of the wand and really flutter along. So that can provide different sensations, different stimulations. So this is a tiny teaser, it's just a tiny little like, palm sized wand, you can see the size near my hand. It's rechargeable and waterproof and really pretty strong, given, you know, what it is, in terms of size. Something like that runs only $25 for a rechargeable and that's a silicone head you can take off and clean. Speaking of cleaning, let's go over that real quick before I get pinched for time on toy styles. So I highly recommend you get a toy cleaner, now you don't have to purchase toy cleaner, it's not a necessity, you can often clean your silicone, plastic, glass toys and metal toys with warm water and soap. Generally recommend a mild soap, a mild antibacterial can be good. But this is a toy cleaner that makes it really easy. It's a green foaming toy cleaner that is made with tea tree oil, which is a natural antimicrobial agent and can help to reduce the amount of bacteria that stays on your toy. What's also good, is this is safe for your toy, it's not gonna break down the materials, no matter what your toy is made of. It's also not gonna be harmful to your body. Now if you leave a soap residue on your toy and then insert it into a vagina that can be a problem, because soap is not meant to go up in our self cleaning ovens. So, that can be a big difference if you leave a soap reside, it can be an issue. Hannah says, thank you Katie, I haven't been a toy person before but I really appreciate your insight. I struggle a lot with sexual stuff, especially being single, not had a partner since March. I'm gonna message you, awesome, yeah, love you too Hannah! Can't wait to hear from you, that's awesome. So, for those still tuning in, thank you so much, this has been just kind of an overview about adult toys and how to shop for adult toys. And then, when you get into other things, there are items for couples, there's things like rechargeable vibrating cock rings with a remote, so you can both kinda play with that. This is super strong and awesome by the way. It turns a penis or a dildo into the vibrator itself. There are toys like the Sync, this is the device that is made for insertion and also external play. So this part inserts into the vagina or anus and then this part sits outside on either the labia and vulva or the perineum if it's going in anus. And this still leaves room for penetration along with it, so that's the Sync by WeVibe. So they're couples toys that are meant to give you both play and by the way, this one has an app folks, you can control it from anywhere in the world or pass control off to your partner with the app, so they're pretty awesome. There are these plays that are like small little bullets, like this, there are rabbit styles. The thing to think about with rabbits is they are like headphones for the clit, so they're gonna give vibration on either side. Bullets, they can be flexible or hard plastic. We also have things like kegel balls, so these are actually weight lifting for the vagina. These are things that are like, they help you strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles. So a lot of people, especially after seeing the 50 Shades second movie, think that these are orgasmic. They could be for some people but most likely not, think of 'em more like weight lifting. It's taking your vagina to the gym. So this does vibrate but it is more for when it's up inside the vaginal tunnel, those muscles are constantly squeezing on it to keep it in the tunnel of the vagina and that is strengthening those muscles automatically by trying to keep it up inside. And this just a little retrievable string as well as vibration control, there's a little button here. This one is two glass balls with a silicone tether, you can use it with the silicone tether or you can use the glass balls separately, which is even harder to keep inside so that's the more advanced level of the kegel ball play. But kegel balls you would wear for only like, I don't know, start with like 15 minutes, work your way up to an hour and wear them while standing, doing chores, walking around, that kinda thing. And wear them at home to make sure you can keep it in without them dropping out. You don't wanna go to the mall and have glass balls bouncing or maybe you do, maybe that's your kink, I don't know. There are items for the penises There are things like stroker toys, I've gothere, so this is a plastic coated device that has a stroker sleeve inside. And it is nice and soft and supple, you can fill it with some lubricant and play away and then comes all out of the case in order to clean but it stores in there to keep it nice and clean. We also have, these are like a smaller fleshlight design, which I love because you can take both caps off either end and use it as a stroker on the penis while focusing your mouth on the head. So if you're not one that loves to give deep blowjobs, that's a great assistant tool that also can be used as a masturbation device for the penis owner on their own. There are cock rings, cock rings are not so much orgasmic as they are tools, these help hold the blood flow in place. These particularly are nice and thick silicone rings, they are clear but they are made of silicone, this is like the kind of opaque clear is the only clear silicone. But that works as like a nice, strong hold at the base of the penis or the base around the balls and penis and it helps the blood stay in and stay harder. It also can act as sort of a clamp to delay orgasm and to help prolong the play. So cock rings work well as like a nice little grip on the penis. We have prostate toys, these are devices that are inserted inside and they aren't actually like an in and out device, they just go in once and then as you proceed through orgasm, if you're a penis owner, your pelvic floor muscles will lift it and rock it slightly. So this taps against the prostate just like that. So as your orgasm. What else, we gottoys, we got strapons, we got intense play as well like light, little play, we got massage candles, massage lotions, lubricants. Generally, you're gonna see water-based, silicone and hybrid lubricants at adult stores and sometimes some other flavored things or stimulating things. Your water-based is your general, all around, safe for anything, great with toys, tends to need to be reapplied more frequently, though you can often add a little sprinkle of water onto your water-based lube when it's applied on the body and that will reactivate it if it's starting to get dry. Silicone lube is gonna make of pure silicone in most cases and it's super slick, it doesn't absorb into the body, great for body on body play, great for anal play and it can stain sheets, it can be a little more hard to wash off, so things to keep in mind when using silicone lube but it's really an awesome experience. And then there's also a hybrid lube, which is a mix between silicone and water-based lubricant. Hybrid offers the best of both worlds, it doesn't tend to stain sheets, it's safe with toys, yet it's still super slippery and doesn't need to be reapplied as often as water-based, so that's my quick lube rundown. Flavored stuff can be awesome, just make sure that it is free of real sugars, 'cause you don't want those in a vagina. And also tingling, stimulating lubes can be fun but be sure to spot test them because some people find them really fun, some people find them really irritating. Look for lubes that are free of parabens, also recommend things that don't have glycerin in them, just because glycerin tends to be an irritant for more people, it's one of the things that can be an irritant for people and when they complain they don't like lube, it's often because they've had a lube that's sticky and had glycerin in it and they just didn't like the sensation or it was irritating and drying to them. So that is about all. We have books, we have condoms, we have toys, bachelorette party things, there's all sorts of things I could show you but that's really about it. If you have any questions about shopping in an adult store, what that experience is like, please ask, I am here for you, I would love to answer those for you, now is the time. I'm not gonna be on next Sunday night because we are switching up the streaming format of I will be back with future streams, I just don't know when yet and what the topic will be, so stay tuned. You can follow along at, I think we're planning a big new relaunch in September, I don't know the date yet but you can tune in then. In the meantime, you can follow me at sharinpeter on Instagram as well as, you can sign up for newsletters there. And yeah, I'd love to hear from folks. So, thank you for joining me tonight, go back to, go watch Mona Darling, she has a lovely show tonight and it is all about, let me see here. Mona is talking about gags tonight, ball gags, bed gags, all the gags. And don't forget to check out that Sex with Pizza link, actually I'll give a link here on the chat for it, for anybody that's looking, I'll put it on the chat. But thank you for joining me, thank you for tipping, those that did, that keeps me paid and in business, so I appreciate you. In the meantime, if you have questions about anything sex related, toys or otherwise, please feel free to email me, All right, thanks y'all, see ya!

Sex Toy Shopping 101

Jul 31, 2018
2:00 pm
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
2:00 pm

Is the thought of buying sex toys overwhelming? SO MANY decisions to make! Online or in store. Vibrating or not. Insertable or not. Batteries or Rechargeable. Lube? Cleaning? The Vibrator Whisperer is here to make shopping for toys easy-peasy!