5 Most Common Sex Toys


Serious or silly, upscale or unpretentious, used solo or for sizzle with a partner, sex toys can amp a sexual experience both mentally and physically.
Serious or silly, upscale or unpretentious, used solo or for sizzle with a partner, sex toys can amp a sexual experience both mentally and physically.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Using objects to increase sexual pleasure isn't anything new. Discovery of the world's oldest surviving dildo -- a 7.9-inch (20-centimeter) siltstone phallus that may have been used as a sex aid some 28,000 years ago -- suggests that humans have been using sex toys for eons [source: Amos].

What is new, however, are the advances we've made in style and technology. Today's sex toys have cute names and designer colors and materials, and they can even be environmentally friendly. They're a far cry from the meager inventory typically encountered just a few short years ago, which centered on oversized, penis-look-alike dildos made from a cocktail of potentially toxic components [source: Ives].

With such strides, it's no wonder nearly a quarter of surveyed adults from countries around the world reported that they've incorporated sex toys when interacting with their partners [source: Durex]. In fact, the worldwide sex toy industry rakes in an estimated $15 billion each year [source: Sethi].

There's also mounting evidence that sex toys offer tangible health benefits. Women who use sexual aids report higher levels of sexual function and higher levels of satisfaction with their partners [source: PR Newswire]. Frequent sex provides similar benefits for men, including lowered risks of heart disease, stroke and diabetes [source: Keesling].

So, what are the most common sex toys? Find out which toys made our list and why beginning on the next page.

5
Restraints

If your sex life needs a little spice, consider incorporating a few simple restraints. Blindfolds, for example, are inexpensive and readily available around the house (neckties, scarves, dishtowels) and enhance other senses by limiting a vital one: sight. When one or both partners can't see what's coming next, it can make the experience more exciting [source: Strovny].

Restraints, like handcuffs, invoke similar feelings, because you or your partner will relinquish control -- and that in itself can be an aphrodisiac. Some 20 percent of surveyed adults reported that they've used bondage, blindfolds, masks or other restraints during sex [source: Durex]. If you're curious about all of the above and you're into matchy-matchy sex toys, some retailers offer bundles, like Babeland's "pink kink kit" with a mini-whip, blindfold and leather choker -- all in playful pink.

4
Artificial Vagina

An artificial vagina is a rubber or foam sex toy with a cylindrical opening in which a penis can be inserted. You can buy an artificial vagina at adult novelty retailers or make your own by following step-by-step instructions available from Internet DIY experts.

While blow-up dolls, with their permanently open orifices, are a mainstay of many bachelor parties, an artificial vagina may pose a more practical way to offer a little self-satisfaction. After all, it stores easily and doesn't require an air pump before you can get busy.

However, if you enjoy inflatable sex toys, you'll have lots of options to choose from. For those who prefer a more "out of this world" experience, there's the Area 51 Love Doll: It has three breasts, a vagina-shaped mouth, suction cup fingers and anus-shaped ears, all for alien-inspired fun [source: Fortey].

3
Rings

A penis ring is a ring that's placed around the base of the penis shaft. It constricts blood flow, which causes a longer-lasting erection and promotes sensitivity. There are a few penis ring variations in both material and function. Rings can be made of leather, metal, nylon or rubber, and some vibrate or have small loops for attaching a bullet vibrator (which is a bonus for female partners during intercourse). Although a penis ring can be pleasurable, it should be worn only for about 20 minutes at a time. If the penis begins to feel numb or painful, remove the ring.

A penis sleeve can be used in conjunction with the ring; these sleeves are a type of artificial vagina and often include a textured interior. They are made to move up and down over the penis shaft [source: Cosmopolitan].

2
Vibrators

Vibrators are available in a range of hard and soft rubbers, plastics and metals and in many varieties, from small, single-area stimulators -- known as bullets -- to more advanced models designed to stimulate multiple regions. For example, Rabbit-style vibrators include a shaft with rotating beads and a clitoral stimulator that may be shaped like rabbit ears. Some models feature anal stimulators, too [source: Steinborn]. Vibrators may be battery powered or have a power cord that will need to be plugged into an electrical socket, and some are rechargeable.

Bullets are small cylinders that commonly have a simple on/off function to control the vibrating mechanism. Others are more complex. Take the OhMiBod Boditalk Escort Vibrator, for example. You can set this vibrator to activate when you dial your cell phone; it will stay in motion for the length of your call [source: DV Hardware]. How's that for phone sex?

1
Dildo

Despite a nebulous economy, people are still willing to spend money on sex toys -- some of which are quite expensive [source: Varmus]. In fact, the priciest sex toy to date is a $55,000 white gold dildo with a diamond-encrusted handle that includes a detachable diamond ring [source: CocoPerez.com].

No matter what the cost, most dildos work the same: They are shaped more or less like a penis and are not powered electrically. They can be made of glass, rubber, plastic, metal or environmentally friendly wood. Some have surfaces that mimic the look of a penis, while others may feature a raised texture, wavelike bulbs, cutesy designs or a curve for stimulating the G-spot, which is a powerfully sensitive patch of skin that lies about 2 inches (5 centimeters) inside the vagina. Advanced users may want to explore a dildo/vibrator combination, which is a dildo that has a vibrating component. Some have additional features, such as an attachment to stimulate the clitoris or anus [source: Steinborn].

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