As we approach the holidays, I’m sure many of you are considering buying a sex toy for someone you love. It’s such an exciting thought: wrapping a vibrator, dildo, butt plug or paddle for your sweetheart, placing it under the tree with a knowing smile on your face, and going to bed with visions of your darling’s orgasms dancing in your head. How conscientious and thoughtful of you, right?
While it’s very sweet to wish pleasure on those close to you, the truth is, most people are pretty bad at buying sex toys for others. Our tendency is to buy things that we’d enjoy watching our partners use, or that we want them to like – regardless of whether or not they would actually like the product in question. Sex toy shopping is a highly personal endeavor, one that needs to be customized to the tastes and anatomy of the person who will be using the toy. And though you might know a lot about your sweetheart’s sexual preferences, it’s hard to know exactly what kinds of things they like to use and do when they’re alone.
If you’re looking to buy sex toys for someone other than yourself this holiday season, here are some tips to increase your odds of success:
If they’ve mentioned wanting a specific toy or a specific type of toy, get them that. They may have done their research and declared a desire for a perennial classic, like, say, the Magic Wand. Or maybe they’ve mentioned wanting to try a glass dildo, a beginners’ butt plug, or a dual-stimulation vibe, in which case you can do some research of your own and try to determine the best and most appropriate toy for your partner from that category.
Keep your partner’s past preferences in mind. Maybe you’d like to see them use a giant dildo, but you know they traditionally have enjoyed penetration on the smaller side. Maybe you have your heart set on giving them a mild-but-elegant rechargeable vibrator, but you know they’ve historically needed earthshattering vibrations to get off. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a wooden paddle that produces a stingy sensation, but you remember them preferring thuddier implements the last time you spanked them. Whatever your darling’s preferences are, keep them in mind when trying to shop for them – don’t just disregard them in favor of what you’d prefer.
Read reviews and product info. Sex toy reviewers do the world a great service by helping consumers decide which toys are and are not worth their hard-earned dollars. If you can find a reviewer whose preferences are more-or-less in line with your partner’s, you may be able to use their recommendations to guide you. Some of the better-known toy reviewers out there include Epiphora, Dangerous Lilly, JoEllen Notte, Emmeline Peaches, and Ninja Sexology. Always read reviews before plonking down money for any sex toy!
Get something you can use together, but keep your expectations low. So-called “couples’ toys,” like the We-Vibe and Lelo Tiani, can be a fun and romantic gift. However, again, they may not be appropriate if they don’t fit your partner’s preferences. Never expect any sex toy to be the “magic pill” that revolutionizes your sex life or enables new kinds of orgasms your partner’s never had before – that stuff might happen, but that kind of transformative experience is pretty rare. However, if you rein in your expectations and make sure your partner doesn’t feel obligated to enjoy the toy you buy for them, the two of you are likelier to have a good time together with your new acquisition.
Get them a gift card. This is the simplest solution, really! If you buy your partner a gift certificate to a sex shop, they can go shopping on their own for something they’re likelier to enjoy, or the two of you can go together and pick something out. It’s such a bummer to have to pretend to like a toy just because your partner spent money on it, so avoid that conundrum altogether and let your sweetheart make their own sex toy decisions. You’ll get all the credit for the great gift, with none of the guilt or worry about whether it actually was a great gift – it’s a win-win!