The ultimate guide to sex toys for beginners

You’ve decided to introduce a new sex toy into your life – maybe even your first. The sex toy market is flooded with all kinds of bendy, buzzy, stiff, squishy, slappy accessories that you can use to enhance self-pleasure and partnered sex.

So, how do you know which toy is right for you?

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to sex toys for beginners. Even if you dabbled in playtime accessories before, we guarantee you’ll learn a thing or two.

The basics: materials, size, and all-important lubricant

Before we jump into the fun stuff, let’s start with the basics:

  • Material. Spoiler alert! Sex toys come into contact with some of the most sensitive areas of the body. What your toy is made of is extremely important.
  • Size. If it’s an insertable or penetrable toy you want, know how to select the right size for your or your partner’s body.
  • Lubricant. Lube is your best friend, but some types of lube don’t get along with certain sex toy materials.

Once you have the basics down, you can shop sex toys confidently. Ready? Let’s go!

Sex toy materials

The material of your toy will have a significant impact on the way it feels, smells, and tastes. It’ll also determine the type of lubricant you can use.

Porous or non-porous sex toys?

The materials used to make vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, and other toys are typically categorised as either porous or non-porous.

  • Porous materials are soft and squishy but can be tricky to clean. They are best used with a condom. Although porous materials are cheaper, they can contain phthalates, a chemical that some manufacturers have phased out.
  • Non-porous materials, such as ABS plastic, glass, and high-grade silicone, are higher quality and significantly easier to clean.

Most common sex toy materials

The majority of sex toys on the market are made from the following materials.

ABS Plastic:

  • Feels: hard and glossy; can have a polyurethane coating to create a velvet touch
  • Smells: odourless
  • Tastes: tasteless
  • Compatible lubricants: all
  • Pros: non-porous, latex-free, phthalate-free, can be waterproof
  • Cons: does not flex with the body, can create overly intense sensations for some


  • Smells: odourless
  • Feels: smooth
  • Tastes: tasteless
  • Compatible lubricants: all
  • Pros: non-porous, phthalate-free, latex-free, suitable for sensitive skin, waterproof, durable, ideal for temperature play
  • Cons: Can be too heavy, does not flex with the body

Jelly Rubber

  • Feels: smooth and flexible
  • Smells: rubbery
  • Tastes: slightly chemical
  • Compatible lubricants: all
  • Pros: Inexpensive and flexes with your body
  • Cons: Porous, difficult to clean, may contain phthalates, unsuitable for those with a latex allergy


  • Feels: Smooth and rigid, weight can be heavy or light
  • Smells: odourless
  • Tastes: tasteless
  • Compatible lubricants: all
  • Pros: non-porous, waterproof, durable, phthalate-free, latex-free, can be used for temperature play
  • Cons: does not flex with the body, can contain nickel which some people are sensitive to, can be too heavy


  • Feels: hard and smooth or soft and lifelike
  • Smells: plastic
  • Tastes: plastic
  • Compatible lubricants: all
  • Pros: affordable, durable
  • Cons: can be porous, may contain phthalates, can deteriorate over time


  • Feels: silky smooth, density varies from soft to firm
  • Smells: odourless
  • Tastes: tasteless
  • Compatible lubricants: water-based only
  • Pros: non-porous, phthalate-free, latex-free, easy to clean, transmits vibrations easily, warms quickly, durable, can be waterproof, can flex with the body, medical-grade formulations are ideal for those with sensitive skin
  • Cons: cannot be used with silicone-based lubricant

TPR/TPE Plastic

  • Feels: smooth, flexible, and lifelike
  • Smells: similar to nail polish
  • Tastes: rubbery
  • Compatible lubricant: water-based lubricant
  • Pros: not as porous as other realistic-feel sex toy materials, phthalate-free, latex-free, durable
  • Cons: slightly porous, difficult to clean, can tear easily

Sex toy size

The size of your sex toy is another crucial factor – especially if you’ve decided on an insertable or penetrable toy. Remember, images on a website aren’t always the best way to gauge whether or not a toy is the right size for your body. Instead, take careful note of the measurements.

Here’s how the numbers work:

  • Length: distance from top to bottom
  • Insertable length: the maximum length that can enter the body or be penetrated
  • Width (also known as the diameter): distance from one side to the other
  • Insertable width: the maximum width that can enter the body or be penetrated
  • Girth (also known as the circumference): distance around the widest part of the toy

Do I need lubricant?

Yes! There is no such thing as a bad time to add a bit of lube. The right lubricant can make your experience with sex toys (and manual stimulation) more pleasurable and more comfortable. What’s not to love!?

Water-based lubricants

Water-based lubes are a pretty safe bet. They are compatible with most sex toy materials and are easy to wash off yourself and your toys. Finally, water-based lube is a great choice for vaginal sex but is not suitable for anal sex unless it is specificaly designed for this.

Silicone-based lubricants

Silicone-based lubes are super long-lasting and provide an extremely smooth, slippery layer on the skin or toy. It’s a fantastic choice for anal sex and aquatic play, but keep in mind that you’ll need to wash it off with soap and water. It’s also not suitable for use with silicone toys.

How to get the most out of your toys

Sex toys are exactly that – toys! The whole point is to have fun, whatever that means for you. Here are our top six tips for getting the most out of your new sex toy.

1. Keep your toys clean

Always clean your toys before and after use as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves washing it with warm water and mild, fragrance-free soap.

2. Use toys as intended

Be sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions and only use the toy as intended. Pay attention to any storage guidelines, too.

3. Don’t force anything

Using a new sex toy can be a nerve-wracking experience. Take your time. Warming up manually first before introducing the toy can be helpful.

If you are using a toy on a partner, stop right away if they experience pain, discomfort, or do not wish to continue.

Never use a toy on areas that are swollen, cut, or inflamed.

4. Don’t be afraid to mix and match

Even if you’re a total beginner and have just one sex toy, don’t be afraid to mix and match sensations. Combining external and internal stimulation, for example, can be extremely pleasurable.

5. Remember that not all toys are waterproof

Aquatic play can be fun, but you can’t take any old toy for a swim. Toys that are not waterproof are not suitable for use in the bath or shower.

6. Perform regular maintenance

Check your sex toys for wear and tear, such as chips, rips, and other signs of deterioration. It’s best to replace your toys when these signs appear.

How to choose a vibrator

Vibrators are one of the most popular women’s sex toys. Why? Because they create a sensation that manual stimulation just cannot replicate. Ideal for both solo and partnered sex, vibrators come in all shapes and sizes with varying levels of intensity.

When choosing a vibrator, keep the following considerations front-of-mind.

What type of stimulation do I want?

Vibrators are versatile and can be used on many areas of the body. The first step in choosing a new vibrator is deciding on either external or internal stimulation.

Vibrators for external stimulation

Do you like precise, intense stimulation or broader, deeper stimulation?

If it’s precision you’re after, bullet vibrators are an excellent choice. With a classic cylindrical shape and small, sleek profile, bullets can target the clitoris, vulva, and nipples.

If it’s broader stimulation that you crave, massagers – also known as wands – are ideal. The large, round, vibrating head of a wand can be used to stimulate the clitoris and vulva simultaneously. These popular toys can also deliver a tension-relieving full-body massage – with or without a happy ending. Pure bliss!

Vibrators for internal stimulation

You can find vibrators designed for both vaginal and anal stimulation.

Classic vibrators typically feature a smooth, cylindrical shaft with a rounded head and are ideal for beginners. Realistic vibrators, on the other hand, resemble a penis with the added sensation of vibration. G-spot vibrators offer a curved shaft and bulbous head to target that uber-sensitive area inside the body.

Keep in mind that, if you’d like to use your vibrator anally, make sure that it has a flared base and/or sturdy handle. Otherwise, you might not be able to remove it.

Vibrators that provide both external and internal stimulation

Want it all in one toy? Rabbit vibrators are designed to provide both internal and external clitoral stimulation.

Can I use a sex toy with my partner?

Yes! A couple’s sex toy can add a whole new dimension of pleasure to partnered play. Whether you’re looking to explore a new kink together or simply break out of your tried-and-true routine, a toy is the perfect way to shake things up.

Types of couple’s sex toys

As long as both individuals have enthusiastically consented, any toy can be used during partnered sex! To help get you started, here are some of the most popular choices.


Vibrators are an exhilarating addition to partnered play, especially for those that crave more stimulation than penetration alone. Couple’s vibrators come in a whole host of shapes and sizes, with the most popular suitable for a woman to wear so she gets clitoral and vaginal stimulation while he feels the buzz too. Everyone wins!

Couple’s rings

By restricting blood flow from the penis, cock rings offer harder, longer-lasting erections and heightened stimulation. To boost mutual pleasure, opt for a ring with added features, such as unique textures or vibrations.

Getting started with BDSM

BDSM (Bondage/Disciple Dominance/Submission Sadism/Masochism) might sound – and look – a little scary, but experimenting with power dynamics and new sensations can be extremely rewarding.

Just like with any sexual act, enthusiastic consent is absolutely critical. Never pressure anyone into any form of power play, and never push anyone beyond their pre-determined limits.

Safe, sane, and consensual – that’s the BDSM mantra. Stick closely to this, and you and your play partner are in for an incredible ride.

Dominant or submissive?

Do you want to be restrained? Or, do you want to be in control?

Most people that enjoy bondage and other related activities label themselves as submissive (sub) or dominant (dom). Some call themselves a switch, which means they can switch between the two roles.

You don’t have to decide which category you fall into right away – it’s fun to give both a try. Just remember to discuss these roles with your play partner and establish a safe word (when said, play will stop immediately) before the scene begins.

Beginner bondage

Incorporating light bondage into your sex life can be revolutionary. Restricting movement or sight can enhance sensation in other areas of the body. You might like to start with a blindfold or hand or ankle cuffs.

When you’re ready to take things a little further, use a paddle or crop, or even nipple stimulators, to inflict a whole range of tantalising – even delightfully painful – sensations. Whips and floggers are more intense, so they may not be suitable for all beginners.

Don’t underestimate the importance of aftercare

You and your partner have just spent the last two hours playing. There’s been bondage, sensation play, and a whole lot of power imbalance. Now, you might be experiencing a comedown. It’s totally normal to feel a little sensitive in the minutes, even hours, following an intense session.

To combat this, be sure to discuss aftercare before play begins. This might involve gentle cuddling, one partner preparing a snack and drink for the other, watching an episode of your favourite show together, or even being showered by your partner.

Find your perfect sex toy today

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the types of sex toys available and whether or not they are suitable for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. We are always available to help.