Sex aids or sex toys are devices made to vary or enhance pleasure during sexual activity. They are used primarily on the genitals or around the genitals, but some can be used on other parts of the body as well. People use them when they are on their own or with partners. On the whole, people who use sex aids do not use them every single time they engage in sex nor do they always use the same aid on each occasion.

The list of sex aids is a long one. They are usually sold in special erotica shops or through mail order catalogues.

Some of the more common ones include the following:

  • Vibrators. Vibrators are electrical machines powered by batteries or plugged into electrical outlets. They come in different sizes and shapes; some have variable speed controls to allow the user to personalize the intensity of the stimulation. The more popular kinds of personal vibrators are battery powered, cylindrical or penis shaped in different diameters and lengths, and sometimes come with attachments for different parts of the body. The sexual sensations produced by a vibrator can be both intense and rapidly felt. Vibrators must be used gently on sensitive body tissue. Some people use a towel between the skin and the vibrator to cut down on the intensity of the sensation. Using a water-based lubricant can also make a vibrator more comfortable and stimulating.
  • Ben Wa Balls. This device, which originated in the Orient, consists of a set of two metal balls. One is solid and is placed in the vagina near the cervix; the other one is partially filled with mercury and is also placed in the vagina, near the first one. Any movement causes the mercury filled ball to hit the deeper one, spreading vibrations through the vaginal area. Women primarily use them on their own, but they can also be incorporated into sexual activity with a partner.
  • Cock Rings. A cock ring is a metal, leather, or rubber ring-shaped device, usually from 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. The testicles and the erect penis are slipped through the ring, which fits tightly, putting pressure on the dorsal vein of the penis. The idea is that the cock ring will keep the blood that has engorged the penis from flowing out. The man will therefore retain his erection longer and, theoretically, be able to prolong his sexual activity. Some men also wear cock rings when they want their genitals to look larger under their pants. Proper fit is important so that the penis and testicles do not get bruised. Caution is needed not to wear the rings too tightly or for an extended period of time, since they act as a tourniquet limiting blood flow and can cause severe damage to the genitals.