There are still a lot of people who, when hearing the term "sex toy," will think only of a hard, white, plastic, battery-operated vibrating cylinder. While it is probably true that a lot of these phallic-shaped devices have been sold in the past, the vibrators available today come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors.
There are also a lot of people who, upon seeing a cylinder, will automatically assume from its shape that the shaft of this instrument is to be inserted into a woman's vagina. To do so, however, is to miss the point or, more accurately, the spot. Vibrators are most effective when applied to the sensitive clitoris. Less effective, although very pleasurable to a lot of women, are the G Spot stimulators - vibrators that curve up to stimulate the top surface of the woman's vagina.
Another advance in the construction of battery-operated vibrators is not only a refinement in how they vibrate, but in what they are made of. Vibrations are now intense, but subtle. That is, most vibrators today are more finely tuned and do not feel like they are knocking against the woman's clitoris. In addition, they are often made of a softer plastic or latex. Some even will bend, which is a distinct advantage if a woman wants to insert a vibrator, because the vagina is not a straight tube. A vibrator that follows a woman's internal curvature is decidedly more user friendly.
Many woman have discovered the combined pleasures of receiving clitoral stimulation from a vibrator that also provides an internal senses of fullness. This is cleverly accomplished by adding a vibrating appendage to a soft cylindrical vibrator, often studded with interesting bumps. The stimulating portion of the appendage might be in the shape of the tongue of a small frog, the ears of a rabbit, or some other devilishly playful creature.
There are vibrating plastic "eggs" (attached by a wire to a small battery box with a speed control knob) that can be inserted into the vagina, providing internal stimulation while manual or oral stimulation is applied to the woman's clitoris. Of course, she could also hold another vibrator on the sensitive spot outside her vagina while the "eggs" are vibrating internally.
I would not dare leave the topic of vibrators without mentioning the electric ones. These are quite popular and typically are sold as body massager with subtle hits on the box such as "For satisfying relief." Many women enjoy the greater intensity of an electric vibrator, and a large number had remained nonorgasmic ("preorgasmic" to use Dr. Lonni Barbach's term) until trying one of these impressive toys. Herein lies one of the advantages of a vibrator, as some women need this intense focused stimulation in order to reach orgasm. Others use will use one to have multiple orgasms, some for those "quickies," and almost all for the novelty of doing something that is both fun and different.
of the most popular sexual vibrators and also a marvelous body massager
is the Japanese precision-made "Hitachi Magic Wand." Buy
this marvelous toy.
use of a vibrator during intercourse (scissors position) is well illustrated
in my book Male Sexual Endurance where I emphasize the use of relaxed
coital positions as an aid to helping the man last longer. The scissors
position's advantage is that it allows easy access to the clitoral area
of the woman. However, I should mention that it is also a position in
which the man can lay back and watch his partner's face as she enjoys
the sensations of her favorite vibrator.
There are also vibrators made specifically for anal penetration and stimulation. Nothing (penis, finger, vibrator, or dildo) should ever be taken out of an anus (the woman or man's) and inserted into the woman's vagina! This is an absolute NO NO!
There are vibrating toys for men as well as women, and in fact, couples should play back and forth with the woman's vibrator, so the toy will thought of as the couple's plaything and not just hers. Men need never feel competitive with a woman's vibrating friend, and should learn to enjoy it as well as those vibrating toys made for guys.
There are wonderfully designed dildos for women, some looking realistically like an erection (in a variety of colors). Some heterosexual and all lesbian women who enjoy the feeling of vaginal fullness and containment, do not want something that looks like a penis, and so dildos come in a a variety of shapes and a rainbow of colors. Dildos also come in a variety of sizes and the more reasonable ones are soft and flexible enough to conform to a woman's inner contours.
The counterpart for males would be the artificial vagina. Some are simply tubs of a soft pliable material, but others are realistic reproductions of female genitals, complete with pubic hair. In fact, many of the artificial vaginas are made from casts made from the genitals of porn stars. There are artificial vaginas that can be tightened with a hand pump, many have built in vibrators, and none complain if the man ejaculates too rapidly. Penis pumps that will supposedly increase the size of a man's penis are a rip off. While a penis might be temporarily swollen after having been in a vacuum, there is no evidence of any permanent change in either length or girth.
"Cock rings" come in a variety of styles and are typically made of elastic or leather. When drawn tight around the base of the penis (or penis and testicles) there is a slight tendency for the man's erection to be a bit harder (I am being conservative in stating this, for the difference might or might not be noticeable). With stimulation, blood will continue to flow in through the deeper arteries, but be prevented from escaping through the more superficial veins. After a man ejaculates, the erection will stay, as the tight band will prevent the loss of blood. I do not, however, recommend this as an easy solution for the problem of rapid ejaculation, for many men find the constriction uncomfortable and if the band is tight enough to keep blood from flowing out of the penis, it will probably be tight enough to keep the man's semen from ejaculating out the end of his penis. He will likely have a "retrograde ejaculation," during which the ejaculate is forced back up into the man's bladder. This may or may not be painful, but cause no physical harm. Retrograde ejaculations are less likely to occur when the band or strap is place around both the penis and scrotum.
There are a variety of clitoral stimulators that a man could wear around the base of his penis. Some are awkward, some are hard, and some cause more pain than pleasure. However, the soft rubber stimulators might work well if used properly. I would recommend that the man (who is wearing such a device around the base of his penis) lay quietly on his back and invite his partner to mount him. She will then in control and can adjust her body and her movements to make best use of the clitoral stimulator that is there for her pleasure.
Body oils and paints are fun. Feathers are sensual. Lubricants are often essential. For anal penetration I would recommend a lubricant made specifically for anal play (one that contains a bit of benzocaine to reduce some of the discomfort). Remember the rule about keeping anal toys around or in anuses and vaginal toys around or in vaginas, but never ever mix them.
For a woman's genitals I recommend Astroglide© or other good quality water-soluble lubricants. Nothing will grow in Astroglide or K-Y Jelly, and so it is safe to use. Vaseline and other petroleum-based products are not recommended, as the might harbor bacteria, tend to clog the small vaginal ducts where the natural lubricant emerges, and will deteriorate latex (condoms and toys) fairly quickly.
toys should be kept spotless. Use soap and hot water on the electric vibrators
(unplugged, of course) and on other plastic toys. Latex dildos should
be washed thoroughly and most can even boiled. If you like toys, have
a variety of them and use them frequently, invest in some of the commercially
produced sex toy cleaner.
There are those who would call the use of a toy "unnatural." These same people, who would control our personal pleasure and censor our private thoughts, would think nothing of flying in an airplane. Now, how "natural" is that? A large scientific survey, conducted in 1997 by the University of California, San Francisco, found that arouind 13.9 million Americans (about one in 10 adults) use sex toys.
sex toys can be fun when used alone or with a consenting partner. The
toys can add novelty, might guarantee an orgasm (or two), and are great
for "quickies." It might even be fun to watch a partner use
his or her favorite toy. If you have a toy and would like to tell everyone
about it, leave us a note on the message board.
Dr. Birch's Web Site: Oral Caress (sells all toys mentioned in this article)