Sex Toys: How To Use And Take Care Of Them

3 minute read

If you’ve never used a sex toy before, or are just starting to experiment, you might be wondering what sex toys are for, how to use them, clean them, or even how to make them. Educating yourself on what sex toys are and how you can take care of them is the best way to ensure your sex toy can take care of you right back. After all, the right sex toy can make sexy time even more fun.

What are sex toys?

Sex toys are toys that are designed for use during sex, whether with a partner or during masturbation. They’re made to be pleasurable and fun to use, that’s why they’re called toys! Vibrators, dildos, anal beads, cock rings, and buttplugs are just some examples of sex toys.

How to use sex toys

Sex toys serve different purposes and can be used in different ways. If you have a sex toy meant for penetration — like dildos, butt plugs, and some types of vibrators — insert it slowly (with lube) into your preferred orifice. If the size and shape feel good, try moving the toy deeper inside at various speeds.

If you have a vibrator, place it over your clitoris or perineum, or other areas of your body you feel would respond well to vibration. You can experiment with penetration while playing with a vibrator. Some toys meant for kink play, like handcuffs and blindfolds, are meant to be worn.

There are so many different types of sex toys that can be used differently, so be sure to ask retail assistants in store for directions, and/or read the toy's instructions.

How to clean sex toys

Most sex toys can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. Check cleaning instructions for individual toys. Waterproof toys can be submerged, but be careful with non-waterproof ones to keep water away from buttons and batteries. Solid silicone dildos or buttplugs can be boiled to sterilize.

How to store sex toys

Sex toys should be stored somewhere clean and dry. Keeping your toys in fabric bags or wrapped in cloth is a good idea. The drawer of a bedside table is good for storing a few sex toys, if you have a larger number, you may want to get a dedicated box designed for sex toy storage. If you’re concerned about someone finding your sex toys, consider using a box that has a lock and putting it in a discreet place.

How to make a sex toy

It’s best to buy a sex toy - and you can get some that are quite inexpensive. But in a pinch, here are three suggestions for everyday objects you could use as sex toys:

  1. Electric toothbrush: hold the vibrating handle against the clit, penis or nipples
  2. Hairbrush handle: put a condom over the handle and you can use it for penetration
  3. Ice cube: can be used on the genitals and nipples to play with sensation

Learning about, and experimenting with, sex toys can be lots of fun. Sex toys exist to make you feel good, but it’s important to learn how to care for and clean them so sexy time can be as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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